Consumer protection law kicks in, regulator on the anvil

Class action suits may become a reality

July 21, 2020 10:41 pm | Updated July 22, 2020 05:40 pm IST - Bengaluru

The new Act empowers buyers to ask for replacements, refunds or damages from brands, e-tailers and service providers.

The new Act empowers buyers to ask for replacements, refunds or damages from brands, e-tailers and service providers.

Aggrieved customers in India will now be able to seek effective legal remedy, on the lines of class action suits seen in many countries, with the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 , kicking in on July 20.

The new Act empowers buyers to ask for replacements, refunds or damages from brands, e-tailers and service providers.

The law proposes a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to regulate matters of consumer rights, trade practices and advertisements prejudicial to the interests of the public, and to promote, protect and enforce the rights of the “consumers as a class”.

The proposed CCPA will be able to file suo motu cases on behalf of a class of customers, thereby initiating class action suits that holding brands and e-tailers accountable.

Some 95% of 40,000 people, who participated in a study conducted by Local Circles said such a legal mechanism would force brands and marketers to take back defective products and provide a replacement or refund against damages.

Around 75% of respondents who took part in the survey in 200 districts between July 1 and 15, said they were subjected to unfair trade practices.

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