Cabinet gives assent to consumer protection bill to curb misleading advertisements

The Cabinet approved the Consumer Protection Bill that seeks to establish an authority to safeguard consumers’ rights along with provisions to deal with misleading ads, sources said. In August 2015, the Centre had introduced the Consumer Protection Bill in the Lok Sabha to repeal the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry has brought a fresh Bill as there were many amendments to the Bill introduced in 2015. Sources said the Cabinet approved introduction of the Consumer Protection Bill, 2017, leading to withdrawal of the 2015 Bill. The new Bill seeks to enlarge the scope of the existing law and make it more effective and purposeful, the sources said. It seeks to establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights. It also provides for a ban on celebrities for misleading advertisements.

It has provisions for post-litigation-stage mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. The Bill also provides for product liability action. The Cabinet also approved the extension of term of the Commission to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes, by 12 weeks up to April 2, 2018. The extension of tenure will enable the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders.

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