Amid sparring between members from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over Cauvery River dam issues, the Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2018, calling for strict punishment, jail terms and hefty fines for misleading advertisements and food adulteration. The bill which seeks to replace the archaic Consumer Protection Act 1986, was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in January 2018.
According to the newly promulgated bill, "any manufacturer or service provider who causes a false or misleading advertisement to be made which is prejudicial to the interest of the consumers shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend up to 10 lakh rupees". In case of further offences, the lawbreaker is liable to be prisoned for 10 years along with a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh.
Even the celebrities who are part of such misleading advertisement may also get penalties though there is no provision for a jail term, the bill includes. Besides, the new bill will help consumers to solve their dispute issues way faster and allow the Centre to regulate e-commerce and direct selling among other important measures.
The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 has been passed in Lok Sabha. pic.twitter.com/AvgiEAHk3K— ANI (@ANI) December 20, 2018
The bill also provides for product liability action, which means a complaint filed by a person before consumer court for claiming compensation for the harm caused to him on account of a defective product or service.
Amid the uproar, another bill which was passed in the ower house, include- the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
Earlier in the day the proceedings in Rajya Sabha barely lasted for 10 minutes, with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourning the House till noon.
Thursday was the seventh working day of the Winter session which saw disruptions and adjournments over the Rafale jet seal, special status for Andhra Pradesh and protests over the proposed construction of a dam on the Cauvery river.
Both Houses had been adjourned on the first day of the session on December 11 after paying obituary references to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and some sitting members. Since December 12, proceedings have been marred amid the din.