Consumer Protection Law - New Regulator, more power to Consumers!

Published on 11 Jan 2018 by Tushar

The newly approved Consumer Protection Bill, 2017 which is soon to be tabled in the winter session of the Parliament seeks to establish a central authority- Central Consumer Protection Authority; on the lines of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which has the potential to overhaul the way consumer cases are dealt with in India.

The old Consumer Protection regime amongst other problems had one major problem – implementation of the provisions, the final relief for consumers getting lost in the procedural framework.

A superficial overview of the backlog of cases with the National Consumer Dispute Resolution Redressal Commission (NCDRC) shows original complaints pending from 2008-09. On an average, a consumer case could take up to 4-5 years to get resolved.

Now the CCPA has been mandated to take suo moto action, investigate accordingly. The authority has powers to intervene whenever necessary to protect consumers from unfair trade practices. CCPA is a regulatory body or an executive agency which has been given the powers to investigate and prosecute by passing the final orders.

A direct complaint can be made to the CCPA and It is the mandate of the CCPA to intervene in the matter, look for any other consumers with similar grievances club the cases together to form a class action case and then pass any orders deemed fit.

Mandate of CCPA

  1. Enforcement of Rights- Launch inquiries, either suo motu, on a complaint or via direction from the government, into violations of consumer rights and to launch a prosecution in the appropriate forum (District, State, National Commission). 
  2. Protection from hazardous goods or services- Protect consumers from the marketing of goods and services which are unsafe of hazardous to life and property.
  3. Prevention of Unfair Trade Practises- this is with respect to deficiency found in any service or defect found in goods or products
  4. Put an end to the practice of spreading misinformation from misleading or deceiving advertisements.
  5. Prevent unfair Contracts- Declare as null and void, terms of contracts found to be unfair to the consumer.

How will the CCPA Work

CCPA has been given immense powers to bring consumers to justice, while also ensuring the overall consumer market is progressing forward in a manner which is beneficial to the consumers.

Procedure after complaint

If a Complaint has been submitted by a consumer the following are the powers of the CCPA to conduct an independent investigation into the matter -

  1. Conduct investigations, either suo motu or on a complaint or on a reference made by any Consumer Disputes Redressal Agency;

  2. into violations of consumers' rights;
  3. conduct search and seizure of documents or records or articles and other forms of evidence;
  4. summon delinquent manufacturers, advertisers and service providers and to;
  5. record oral evidence and direct production of documents and records.
  6. Finally, pass orders, on the basis of such investigations for a recall of goods found to be unsafe or withdrawal of services found to be unsafe or hazardous and direct, and direct the concerned corporation to provide reimbursement of the price of the goods (or services) so recalled

Power to impose fines and criminal penalty

The next empowering provision is the CCPA’s mandate to impose fines on such producers or service providers which have aggrieved the consumers.

  1. The CCPA has the power to impose fines up to Rs. 50,000 along with any other Order or Directions as deemed fit for the case at hand.
  2. If these Orders or directions are not complied with, the CCPA is authorized to further impose a fine of not less than Rs. 25,000 extendable to Rs. 1 lac for each day of non-compliance with the Order, subject to maximum Rs. 10 lac.
  3. For further non-compliance, the CCPA has the authority to impose criminal liability. CCPA can pass orders for the imprisonment of the concerned defaulter for up to 6 months, along with an additional fine up to Rs. 20 lac.

Macro Level Improvements

The old Consumer Protection regime amongst other problems had one major problem – implementation of the provisions, the final relief for consumers getting lost in the procedural framework.

A superficial overview of the backlog of cases with the National Consumer Dispute Resolution Redressal Commission (NCDRC) shows original complaints pending from 2008-09. On an average, a consumer case could take up to 4-5 years to get resolved.

Now the CCPA has been mandated to take suo moto action, investigate accordingly. The authority has powers to intervene whenever necessary to protect consumers from unfair trade practices.

CCPA can initiate class action including enforcing recall, refund and return of products. This body will act in a manner similar to enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US. This will be a landmark step in upgrading the implementation mechanism to global standards.

Legistify connects you with the best lawyers in India and top Chartered Accountants in India with simple telephonic conversation or email. Call us at 846-883-3013 or send us an email at [email protected] to get started.



Top Legal Queries

Get answers from the best experts within minutes!

Most Consulted Advocates

Choose from our most consulted lawyers across India and get instant legal advice.

Top Consulted Advocates

Choose from our most consulted lawyers across India and get instant legal advice.


© Legistify Services Pvt. Ltd.

Home|About|Contact