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The Consumer Protection Act,2019 - Deep Gyan®

The Consumer Protection Act,2019

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Preamble

An Act

  • to provide for protection of the interests of consumers and for the said purpose,
  • to establish authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ disputes and
  • for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Applicability

  • It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Save as otherwise expressly provided by the Central Government, by notification, this Act shall apply to all goods and services.

Important Definitions

Advertisement

Advertisement means any audio or visual publicity, representation, endorsement or pronouncement made by means of light, sound, smoke, gas, print, electronic media, internet or website and includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper, invoice or such other documents;

Complainant

Complainant means—

  • a consumer; or
  • any voluntary consumer association registered under any law for the time being in force; or
  • the Central Government or any State Government; or
  • the Central Authority; or
  • one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest; or
  • in case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or legal representative; or
  • in case of a consumer being a minor, his parent or legal guardian;

It should be noted that any unregistered voluntary consumer association is not complainant under the Act unless such association is covered under (v).

Complaint means any allegation in writing, made by a complainant for obtaining any relief provided by or under this Act, that—

       (i)

an unfair contract or unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider;

            (ii)

the goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him suffer from one or more defects;

            (iii)

the services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from any deficiency;

           (iv)

a trader or a service provider, as the case may be, has charged for the goods or for the services mentioned in the complaint, a price in excess of the price—

  • fixed by or under any law for the time being in force; or
  • displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods; or
  • displayed on the price list exhibited by him by or under any law for the time being in force; or
  • agreed between the parties;

           (v)

the goods, which are hazardous to life and safety when used, are being offered for sale to the public—

  •  in contravention of standards relating to safety of such goods as required to be complied with, by or under any law for the time being in force;
  • where the trader knows that the goods so offered are unsafe to the public;  

            (vi)

the services which are hazardous or likely to be hazardous to life and safety of the public when used, are being offered by a person who provides any service and who knows it to be injurious to life and safety;

           (vii)

a claim for product liability action lies against the product manufacturer, product seller or product service provider, as the case may be;

Consumer

Consumer means —

(i)

any person who buys any goods

 

  •  for a consideration (which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment)

and includes

  • any user of such goods (other than the person who buys such goods for consideration), when such use is made with the approval of such person,

but does not include

  •  a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or

(ii)

any person who hires or avails of any service

 

  • for a consideration (which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment)

and includes 

  • any beneficiary of such service (other than the person who hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment), when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person,

but does not include

  • a person who avails of such service for any commercial purpose.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause,—

 

  • the expression “commercial purpose” does not include use by a person of goods bought and used by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood, by means of self-employment;

 

  • the expressions “buys any goods” and “hires or avails any services” includes offline or online transactions through electronic means or by teleshopping or direct selling or multi-level marketing;

Consumer dispute means a dispute where the person against whom a complaint has been made, denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint;

Consumer rights includes,—

  • the right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services which are hazardous to life and property;
  • the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products or services, as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
  • the right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods, products or services at competitive prices;
  • the right to be heard and to be assured that consumer’s interests will receive due consideration;
  • the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers; and
  • the right to consumer awareness;

Defect means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or under any contract, express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods or product and the expression “defective” shall be construed accordingly;

Deficiency means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service and includes—

  • any act of negligence or omission or commission by such person which causes loss or injury to the consumer; and
  • deliberate withholding of relevant information by such person to the consumer;

Direct selling means marketing, distribution and sale of goods or provision of services through a network of sellers, other than through a permanent retail location;

Endorsement, in relation to an advertisement, means—

  • any message, verbal statement, demonstration; or
  • depiction of the name, signature, likeness or other identifiable personal characteristics of an individual; or
  • depiction of the name or seal of any institution or organisation, which makes the consumer to believe that it reflects the opinion, finding or experience of the person making such endorsement;

Express warranty means any material statement, affirmation of fact, promise or description relating to a product or service warranting that it conforms to such material statement, affirmation, promise or description and includes any sample or model of a product warranting that the whole of such product conforms to such sample or model;

Goods means every kind of movable property and includes “food”

Harm, in relation to a product liability,

includes—

  • damage to any property, other than the product itself;
  • personal injury, illness or death;
  • mental agony or emotional distress attendant to personal injury or illness or damage to property; or
  • any loss of consortium or services or other loss resulting from a harm referred to in sub-clause (i) or sub-clause (ii) or sub-clause (iii),

but shall not include

  • any harm caused to a product itself or any damage to the property on account of breach of warranty conditions or
  • any commercial or economic loss, including any direct, incidental or consequential loss relating thereto;

Injury means any harm whatever illegally caused to any person, in body, mind or property;

Misleading advertisement in relation to any product or service, means an advertisement, which—

  • falsely describes such product or service; or
  • gives a false guarantee to, or is likely to mislead the consumers as to the nature, substance, quantity or quality of such product or service; or
  • conveys an express or implied representation which, if made by the manufacturer or seller or service provider thereof, would constitute an unfair trade practice; or
  • deliberately conceals important information;

Product liability means the responsibility of a product manufacturer or product seller, of any product or service, to compensate for any harm caused to a consumer by such defective product manufactured or sold or by deficiency in services relating thereto;

Product liability action means a complaint filed by a person before a District Commission or State Commission or National Commission, as the case may be, for claiming compensation for the harm caused to him;

Product manufacturer means a person who—

  • makes any product or parts thereof; or
  • assembles parts thereof made by others; or
  • puts or causes to be put his own mark on any products made by any other person; or
  • makes a product and sells, distributes, leases, installs, prepares, packages, labels, markets, repairs, maintains such product or is otherwise involved in placing such product for commercial purpose; or
  • designs, produces, fabricates, constructs or re-manufactures any product before its sale; or
  • being a product seller of a product, is also a manufacturer of such product;

Product seller, in relation to a product, means a person who, in the course of business, imports, sells, distributes, leases, installs, prepares, packages, labels, markets, repairs, maintains, or otherwise is involved in placing such product for commercial purpose and includes—

  • a manufacturer who is also a product seller; or
  • a service provider

but does not include—

  • a seller of immovable property, unless such person is engaged in the sale of constructed house or in the construction of homes or flats;
  • a provider of professional services in any transaction in which, the sale or use of a product is only incidental thereto, but furnishing of opinion, skill or services being the essence of such transaction;
  • a person who—
    • acts only in a financial capacity with respect to the sale of the product;
    • is not a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, direct seller or an electronic service provider;
    • leases a product, without having a reasonable opportunity to inspect and discover defects in the product, under a lease arrangement in which the selection, possession, maintenance, and operation of the product are controlled by a person other than the lessor;

Restrictive trade practice means a trade practice which tends to bring about manipulation of price or its conditions of delivery or to affect flow of supplies in the market relating to goods or services in such a manner as to impose on the consumers unjustified costs or restrictions and shall include—

  • delay beyond the period agreed to by a trader in supply of such goods or in providing the services which has led or is likely to lead to rise in the price;
  • any trade practice which requires a consumer to buy, hire or avail of any goods or, as the case may be, services as condition precedent for buying, hiring or availing of other goods or services;

Service means service of any description which is made available to potential users

  • and includes, but not limited to, the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, telecom, boarding or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information,
  • but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service;

Spurious goods means such goods which are falsely claimed to be genuine;

Unfair Contract means

  • a contract between a manufacturer or trader or service provider on one hand, and a consumer on the other,
    • having such terms which cause significant change in the rights of such consumer, including the following, namely:—
      • requiring manifestly excessive security deposits to be given by a consumer for the performance of contractual obligations; or
      • imposing any penalty on the consumer, for the breach of contract thereof which is wholly disproportionate to the loss occurred due to such breach to the other party to the contract; or
      • refusing to accept early repayment of debts on payment of applicable penalty; or;
      • entitling a party to the contract to terminate such contract unilaterally, without reasonable cause; or
      • permitting or has the effect of permitting one party to assign the contract to the detriment of the other party who is a consumer, without his consent; or
      • imposing on the consumer any unreasonable charge, obligation or condition which puts such consumer to disadvantage.

Unfair trade practice means a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice including any of the following practices, namely:—

(i)

making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation including by means of electronic record, which—

 

a.

falsely represents that the goods are of a particular standard, quality, quantity, grade, composition, style or model;

 

b.

falsely represents that the services are of a particular standard, quality or grade;

 

c.

falsely represents any re-built, second-hand, renovated, reconditioned or old goods as new goods;

 

d.

represents that the goods or services have sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits which such goods or services do not have;

 

e.

represents that the seller or the supplier has a sponsorship or approval or affiliation which such seller or supplier does not have;

 

f.

makes a false or misleading representation concerning the need for, or the usefulness of, any goods or services;

 

g.

gives to the public any warranty or guarantee of the performance, efficacy or length of life of a product or of any goods that is not based on an adequate or proper test thereof:

Provided that where a defence is raised to the effect that such warranty or guarantee is based on adequate or proper test, the burden of proof of such defence shall lie on the person raising such defence;

 

h.

makes to the public a representation in a form that purports to be—

 

 

a.

a warranty or guarantee of a product or of any goods or services; or

 

 

b.

a promise to replace, maintain or repair an article or any part thereof or to repeat or continue a service until it has achieved a specified result,

 

 

if such purported warranty or guarantee or promise is materially misleading or if there is no reasonable prospect that such warranty, guarantee or promise will be carried out;

 

i.

materially misleads the public concerning the price at which a product or like products or goods or services, have been or are, ordinarily sold or provided, and, for this purpose, a representation as to price shall be deemed to refer to the price at which the product or goods or services has or have been sold by sellers or provided by suppliers generally in the relevant market unless it is clearly specified to be the price at which the product has been sold or services have been provided by the person by whom or on whose behalf the representation is made;

 

j

gives false or misleading facts disparaging the goods, services or trade of another person. Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-clause, a statement that is,—

  • expressed on an article offered or displayed for sale, or on its wrapper or container; or
  • expressed on anything attached to, inserted in, or accompanying, an article offered or displayed for sale, or on anything on which the article is mounted for display or sale; or
  • contained in or on anything that is sold, sent, delivered, transmitted or in any other manner whatsoever made available to a member of the public,

shall be deemed to be a statement made to the public by, and only by, the person who had caused the statement to be so expressed, made or contained;

(ii)

permitting the publication of any advertisement, whether in any newspaper or otherwise, including by way of electronic record, for the sale or supply at a bargain price of goods or services that are not intended to be offered for sale or supply at the bargain price, or for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable, having regard to the nature of the market in which the business is carried on, the nature and size of business, and the nature of the advertisement.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this sub-clause, “bargain price” means,—

  • a price that is stated in any advertisement to be a bargain price, by reference to an ordinary price or otherwise; or
  • a price that a person who reads, hears or sees the advertisement, would reasonably understand to be a bargain price having regard to the prices at which the product advertised or like products are ordinarily sold;

(iii)

permitting—

 

a.

the offering of gifts, prizes or other items with the intention of not providing them as offered or creating impression that something is being given or offered free of charge when it is fully or partly covered by the amount charged, in the transaction as a whole;

 

b.

the conduct of any contest, lottery, game of chance or skill, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the sale, use or supply of any product or any business interest, except such contest, lottery, game of chance or skill as may be prescribed;

 

c

withholding from the participants of any scheme offering gifts, prizes or other items free of charge on its closure, the information about final results of the scheme.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this sub-clause, the participants of a scheme shall be deemed to have been informed of the final results of the scheme where such results are within a reasonable time published, prominently in the same newspaper in which the scheme was originally advertised;

(iv)

permitting the sale or supply of goods intended to be used, or are of a kind likely to be used by consumers, knowing or having reason to believe that the goods do not comply with the standards prescribed by the competent authority relating to performance, composition, contents, design, constructions, finishing or packaging as are necessary to prevent or reduce the risk of injury to the person using the goods;

(v)

permitting the hoarding or destruction of goods, or refusal to sell the goods or to make them available for sale or to provide any service, if such hoarding or destruction or refusal raises or tends to raise or is intended to raise, the cost of those or other similar goods or services;

(vi)

manufacturing of spurious goods or offering such goods for sale or adopting deceptive practices in the provision of services;

(vii)

not issuing bill or cash memo or receipt for the goods sold or services rendered in such manner as may be prescribed;

(viii)

refusing, after selling goods or rendering services, to take back or withdraw defective goods or to withdraw or discontinue deficient services and to refund the consideration thereof, if paid, within the period stipulated in the bill or cash memo or receipt or in the absence of such stipulation, within a period of thirty days;

(ix)

disclosing to other person any personal information given in confidence by the consumer unless such disclosure is made in accordance with the provisions of any law for the time being in force.

CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCILS [Section 3 to 9]

Central Consumer Protection Council [Central Council]
It shall be an advisory council and consist of the following members, namely:—

  • the Minister-in-charge of the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government, who shall be the Chairperson; and
  • such number of other official or non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed.

It shall meet as and when necessary, but at least one meeting of the Council shall be held every year.
Objects of the Central Council shall be to render advice on promotion and protection of the consumers’ rights under this Act.

State Consumer Protection Council [State Council]
It shall be an advisory council and consist of the following members, namely:—

  • the Minister-in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the State Government who shall be the Chairperson;
  • such number of other official or non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed;
  • such number of other official or non-official members, not exceeding ten, as may be nominated by the Central Government.

It shall meet as and when necessary but not less than two meetings shall be held every year.
Objects of every State Council shall be to render advice on promotion and protection of consumer rights under this Act within the State.

District Consumer Protection Council [District Council]
It shall be an advisory council and consist of the following members, namely:—

  • the Collector of the district (by whatever name called), who shall be the Chairperson; and
  • such number of other official and non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed.

It shall meet as and when necessary but not less than two meetings shall be held every year.
Objects of every District Council shall be to render advice on promotion and protection of consumer rights under this Act within the district.

CENTRAL CONSUMER PROTECTION AUTHORITY [Section 10]

Establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority [Central Authority] (Section 10)
It is established to regulate matters relating to

  • violation of rights of consumers,
  • unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of public and consumers and
  • to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.

It shall consist of a Chief Commissioner and such number of other Commissioners as may be prescribed.

The headquarters of the Central Authority shall be at such place in the National Capital Region of Delhi.

The Chief Commissioner shall have the powers of general superintendence, direction and control in respect of all administrative matters of the Central Authority.

Investigation Wing of Central Authority
The Central Authority shall have an Investigation Wing headed by a Director-General for the purpose of conducting inquiry or investigation under this Act as may be directed by the Central Authority. The inquiries or the investigations made by the Director- General shall be submitted to the Central Authority.

Designation of any statutory authority or body to function as Central Authority [Section 23]
The Central Government may, if it considers necessary, by notification, designate any statutory authority or body to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the Central Authority referred to in section 10.

Powers and functions of Central Authority [Section 18]

  1. The Central Authority shall—
    • protect, promote and enforce the rights of consumers as a class, and prevent violation of consumers rights under this Act;
    • prevent unfair trade practices and ensure that no person engages himself in unfair trade practices;
    • ensure that no false or misleading advertisement is made of any goods or services which contravenes the provisions of this Act or the rules or regulations made thereunder;
    • ensure that no person takes part in the publication of any advertisement which is false or misleading.
  2. The Central Authority may, for any of the purposes aforesaid,—

    • inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made into violations of consumer rights or unfair trade practices, either suo motu or on a complaint received or on the directions from the Central Government;

    • file complaints before the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, under this Act;

    • intervene in any proceedings before the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, in respect of any allegation of violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices;

    • review the matters relating to, and the factors inhibiting enjoyment of, consumer rights, including safeguards provided for the protection of consumers under any other law for the time being in force and recommend appropriate remedial measures for their effective implementation;

    • recommend adoption of international covenants and best international practices on consumer rights to ensure effective enforcement of consumer rights;
    • undertake and promote research in the field of consumer rights;
    • spread and promote awareness on consumer rights;
    • encourage non-Governmental organisations and other institutions working in the field of consumer rights to co-operate and work with consumer protection agencies;
    • mandate the use of unique and universal goods identifiers in such goods, as may be necessary, to prevent unfair trade practices and to protect consumers’ interest;
    • issue safety notices to alert consumers against dangerous or hazardous or unsafe goods or services;
    • advise the Ministries and Departments of the Central and State Governments on consumer welfare measures;
    • issue necessary guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices and protect consumers’ interest.

Power of Central Authority to refer matter for investigation or to other Regulator [Section 19]

The Central Authority may,

  • after receiving any information or complaint or directions from the Central Government or of its own motion,

conduct or cause to be conducted a preliminary inquiry as to whether there exists a prima facie case of

  • violation of consumer rights or
  • any unfair trade practice or
  • any false or misleading advertisement,

by any person, which is prejudicial to the public interest or to the interests of consumers and if it is satisfied that there exists a prima facie case, it shall cause investigation to be made by the Director-General or by the District Collector.

Where, after preliminary inquiry, the Central Authority is of the opinion that the matter is to be dealt with by a Regulator established under any other law for the time being in force, it may refer such matter to the concerned Regulator along with its report.

Power of Central Authority to recall goods, etc [Section 20]

Where the Central Authority is satisfied on the basis of investigation that there is sufficient evidence to show violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practice by a person, it may pass such order as may be necessary, including—

  • recalling of goods or withdrawal of services which are dangerous, hazardous or unsafe;
  • reimbursement of the prices of goods or services so recalled to purchasers of such goods or services; and
  • discontinuation of practices which are unfair and prejudicial to consumers’ interest.

Provided that the Central Authority shall give the person an opportunity of being heard before passing an order under this section.

Power of Central Authority to issue directions and penalties against false or misleading advertisements [Section 21]

Power to order discontinuation/modification of advertisement
Where the Central Authority is satisfied after investigation that any advertisement is false or misleading and is prejudicial to the interest of any consumer or is in contravention of consumer rights, it may, by order, issue directions to the concerned trader or manufacturer or endorser or advertiser or publisher, as the case may be, to discontinue such advertisement or to modify the same in such manner and within such time as may be specified.

Power to impose penalty in respect of such false or misleading advertisement
If the Central Authority is of the opinion that it is necessary to impose a penalty in respect of such false or misleading advertisement, by a manufacturer or an endorser, it may, by order, impose on manufacturer or endorser a penalty which may extend to 10 lakh rupees

Central Authority may, for every subsequent contravention by a manufacturer or endorser, impose a penalty, which may extend to 50 lakh rupees.

Power to prohibit from making endorsement
Where the Central Authority deems it necessary, it may, by order, prohibit the endorser of a false or misleading advertisement from making endorsement of any product or service for a period which may extend to 1 year.

Central Authority may, for every subsequent contravention, prohibit such endorser from making endorsement in respect of any product or service for a period which may extend to 3 years.

Power to impose penalty on publishers/endorsers

  • Where the Central Authority is satisfied after investigation that any person is found to publish, or is a party to the publication of, a misleading advertisement, it may impose on such person a penalty which may extend to 10 lakh rupees.
  • No endorser shall be liable to a penalty if he has exercised due diligence to verify the veracity of the claims made in the advertisement regarding the product or service being endorsed by him.
  • No person shall be liable to such penalty if he proves that he had published or arranged for the publication of such advertisement in the ordinary course of his business. Provided that no such defence shall be available to such person if he had previous knowledge of the order passed by the Central Authority for withdrawal or modification of such advertisement.

Note:
While determining the penalty under this section, regard shall be had to the following, namely:—

  • the population and the area impacted or affected by such offence;
  • the frequency and duration of such offence;
  • the vulnerability of the class of persons likely to be adversely affected by such offence; and
  • the gross revenue from the sales effected by virtue of such offence.

The Central Authority shall give the person an opportunity of being heard before an order under this section is passed.

Search and seizure [Section 22]

For the purpose of conducting an investigation after preliminary inquiry under Section 19(1), the Director-General or any other officer authorised by him in this behalf, or the District Collector, as the case may be, may, if he has any reason to believe that any person has violated any consumer rights or committed unfair trade practice or causes any false or misleading advertisement to be made, shall,—

  • enter at any reasonable time into any such premises and search for any document or record or article or any other form of evidence and seize such document, record, article or such evidence;
  • make a note or an inventory of such record or article; or
  • require any person to produce any record, register or other document or article.

The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, relating to search and seizure shall apply, as far as may be, for search and seizure under this Act.

Every document, record or article seized or produced (as stated above) shall be returned to the person, from whom they were seized or who produced the same, within a period of 20 days of the date of such seizure or production, as the case may be, after copies thereof or extracts therefrom certified by that person have been taken.

Appeal [Section 24]

A person aggrieved by any order passed by the Central Authority under sections 20 and 21 may file an appeal to the National Commission within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of such order.

CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

Establishment of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [Section 28]

The State Government shall establish a District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (District Commission), in each district of the State. State Government may establish more than one District Commission in a district.

Each District Commission shall consist of—

  • a President; and
  • not less than 2 and not more than such number of members as may be prescribed, in consultation with the Central Government.

Jurisdiction of District Commission [Section 34]

District Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration does not exceed 1 crore rupees.

A complaint shall be instituted in a District Commission within the local limits of whose jurisdiction,—

  • the opposite party or each of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, ordinarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain; or
  • any of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case the permission of the District Commission is given; or
  • the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises; or
  • the complainant resides or personally works for gain

Manner in which complaint shall be made [Section 35]

A complaint, in relation to any goods sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or any service provided or agreed to be provided, may be filed with a District Commission by—

  • the consumer,—
    • to whom such goods are sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or such service is provided or agreed to be provided; or
    • who alleges unfair trade practice in respect of such goods or service;
  • any recognised consumer association, whether the consumer to whom such goods are sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or such service is provided or agreed to be provided, or who alleges unfair trade practice in respect of such goods or service, is a member of such association or not;
  • one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest, with the permission of the District Commission, on behalf of, or for the benefit of, all consumers so interested; or
  • the Central Government, the Central Authority or the State Government, as the case may be.

Complaint under this sub-section may be filed electronically.

Proceedings before District Commission [Section 36]

Every proceeding before the District Commission shall be conducted by the President of that Commission and atleast one member thereof, sitting together.

Provided that where a member, for any reason, is unable to conduct a proceeding till it is completed, the President and the other member shall continue the proceeding from the stage at which it was last heard by the previous member.

On receipt of a complaint made under section 35, the District Commission may, by order, admit the complaint for being proceeded with or reject the same: Provided that a complaint shall not be rejected under this section unless an opportunity of being heard has been given to the complainant: Provided further that the admissibility of the complaint shall ordinarily be decided within 21 days from the date on which the complaint was filed.

Where the District Commission does not decide the issue of admissibility of the complaint within the period so specified, it shall be deemed to have been admitted.

Reference to mediation [Section 37]

At the first hearing of the complaint after its admission, or at any later stage, if it appears to the District Commission that there exists elements of a settlement which may be acceptable to the parties, it may direct the parties to give in writing, within 5 days, consent to have their dispute settled by mediation in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V.

Where the parties agree for settlement by mediation and give their consent in writing, the District Commission shall, within 5 days of receipt of such consent, refer the matter for mediation, and in such case, the provisions of Chapter V, relating to mediation, shall apply.

Procedure on admission of complaint [Section 38]

  1. The District Commission shall, on admission of a complaint, or in respect of cases referred for mediation on failure of settlement by mediation, proceed with such complaint.
  2. Where the complaint relates to any goods, the District Commission shall,—
    • refer a copy of the admitted complaint, within 21 days from the date of its admission to the opposite party mentioned in the complaint directing him to give his version of the case within a period of 30 days or such extended period not exceeding 15 days as may be granted by it;
    • if the opposite party on receipt of a complaint referred to him under clause (a) denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint, or omits or fails to take any action to represent his case within the time given by the District Commission, proceed to settle the consumer dispute in the manner specified in clauses (c) to (g);
    • if the complaint alleges a defect in the goods which cannot be determined without proper analysis or test of the goods, obtain a sample of the goods from the complainant, seal it and authenticate it in the manner as may be prescribed and refer the sample so sealed to the appropriate laboratory along with a direction that such laboratory to make an analysis or test, whichever may be necessary, with a view to finding out whether such goods suffer from any defect alleged in the complaint or from any other defect and to report its findings thereon to the District Commission within a period of 45 days of the receipt of the reference or within such extended period as may be granted by it;
    • before any sample of the goods is referred to any appropriate laboratory under clause (c), require the complainant to deposit to the credit of the Commission such fees as may be specified, for payment to the appropriate laboratory for carrying out the necessary analysis or test in relation to the goods in question;
    • remit the amount deposited to its credit under clause (d) to the appropriate laboratory to enable it to carry out the analysis or test mentioned in clause (c) and on receipt of the report from the appropriate laboratory, it shall forward a copy of the report along with such remarks as it may feel appropriate to the opposite party;
    • if any of the parties disputes the correctness of the findings of the appropriate laboratory, or disputes the correctness of the methods of analysis or test adopted by the appropriate laboratory, require the opposite party or the complainant to submit in writing his objections with regard to the report made by the appropriate laboratory;
    • give a reasonable opportunity to the complainant as well as the opposite party of being heard as to the correctness or otherwise of the report made by the appropriate laboratory and also as to the objection made in relation thereto under clause (f) and issue an appropriate order under section 39.
  3. The District Commission shall, if the complaint admitted by it under sub-section (2) of section 36 relates to goods in respect of which the procedure specified in sub-section (2) cannot be followed, or if the complaint relates to any services,
    • refer a copy of such complaint to the opposite party directing him to give his version of the case within a period of 30 days or such extended period not exceeding 15 days as may be granted by the District Commission;
    • if the opposite party, on receipt of a copy of the complaint, referred to him under clause (a) denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint, or omits or fails to take any action to represent his case within the time given by the District Commission, it shall proceed to settle the consumer dispute—
      • on the basis of evidence brought to its notice by the complainant and the opposite party, if the opposite party denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint, or
      • ex parte on the basis of evidence brought to its notice by the complainant, where the opposite party omits or fails to take any action to represent his case within the time given by the Commission;
    • decide the complaint on merits if the complainant fails to appear on the date of hearing.
  4. For the purposes of sub-sections (2) and (3), the District Commission may, by order, require an electronic service provider to provide such information, documents or records, as may be specified in that order.
  5. No proceedings complying with the procedure laid down in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall be called in question in any court on the ground that the principles of natural justice have not been complied with.
  6. Every complaint shall be heard by the District Commission on the basis of affidavit and documentary evidence placed on record:
    Provided that where an application is made for hearing or for examination of parties in person or through video conferencing, the District Commission may, on sufficient cause being shown, and after recording its reasons in writing, allow the same.
  7. Every complaint shall be disposed of as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made to decide the complaint within a period of 3 months from the date of receipt of notice by opposite party where the complaint does not require analysis or testing of commodities and within 5 months if it requires analysis or testing of commodities.
  8. Where during the pendency of any proceeding before the District Commission, if it appears necessary, it may pass such interim order as is just and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.
  9. For the purposes of this section, the District Commission shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:—
    • the summoning and enforcing the attendance of any defendant or witness and examining the witness on oath;
    • requiring the discovery and production of any document or other material object as evidence;
    • receiving of evidence on affidavits;
    • the requisitioning of the report of the concerned analysis or test from the appropriate laboratory or from any other relevant source;
    • issuing of commissions for the examination of any witness, or document; and
    • any other matter which may be prescribed by the Central Government.
  10. Every proceeding before the District Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code, and the District Commission shall be deemed to be a criminal court for the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

 

Findings of District Commission [Section 39]

Where the District Commission is satisfied

  • that the goods complained against suffer from any of the defects specified in the complaint or
  • that any of the allegations contained in the complaint about the services or any unfair trade practices, or claims for compensation under product liability are proved,

it shall issue an order to the opposite party directing him to do one or more of the following, namely:—

  • to remove the defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question;
  • to replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from any defect;
  • to return to the complainant the price, or, as the case may be, the charges paid by the complainant along with such interest on such price or charges as may be decided;
  • to pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to the negligence of the opposite party: Provided that the District Commission shall have the power to grant punitive damages in such circumstances as it deems fit;
  • to pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation in a product liability action under Chapter VI;
  • to remove the defects in goods or deficiencies in the services in question;
  • to discontinue the unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice and not to repeat them;
  • not to offer the hazardous or unsafe goods for sale;
  • to withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale;
  • to cease manufacture of hazardous goods and to desist from offering services which are hazardous in nature;
  • to pay such sum as may be determined by it, if it is of the opinion that loss or injury has been suffered by a large number of consumers who are not identifiable conveniently: Provided that the minimum amount of sum so payable shall not be less than 25% of the value of such defective goods sold or service provided, as the case may be, to such consumers;
  • to issue corrective advertisement to neutralise the effect of misleading advertisement at the cost of the opposite party responsible for issuing such misleading advertisement;
  • to provide for adequate costs to parties; and
  • to cease and desist from issuing any misleading advertisement.

Any amount obtained above shall be credited to such fund and utilised in such manner as may be prescribed.

In case of difference in opinion
In any proceeding conducted by the President and a member and if they differ on any point or points, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and refer the same to another member for hearing on such point or points and the opinion of the majority shall be the order of the District Commission: Provided that the other member shall give his opinion on such point or points referred to him within a period of one month from the date of such reference.

Signing of Order
Every order made by the District Commission shall be signed by the President and the member who conducted the proceeding.

Review by District Commission in certain cases [Section 40]

The District Commission shall have the power to review any of the order passed by it if there is an error apparent on the face of the record, either of its own motion or on an application made by any of the parties within 30 days of such order.

Appeal against order of District Commission [Section 41]

Any person aggrieved by an order made by the District Commission may prefer an appeal against such order to the State Commission on the grounds of facts or law within a period of 45 days from the date of the order, in such form and manner, as may be prescribed.

Provided that the State Commission may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 45 days, if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period:

Provided further that no appeal by a person, who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order of the District Commission, shall be entertained by the State Commission unless the appellant has deposited 50%. of that amount in the manner as may be prescribed:

Provided also that no appeal shall lie from any order passed under sub-section (1) of section 81 by the District Commission pursuant to a settlement by mediation under section 80.

Establishment of State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [Section 42]

  • The State Government shall establish a State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, to be known as the State Commission, in the State.
  • The State Commission shall ordinarily function at the State capital and perform its functions at such other places as the State Government may notify.
  • Each State Commission shall consist of—
    • a President; and
    • not less than four or not more than such number of members as may be prescribed in consultation with the Central Government.

Jurisdiction of State Commission [Section 47]

1.

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the State Commission shall have jurisdiction—

 

(a)

to entertain—

 

i

complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration, exceeds rupees 1 crore, but does not exceed rupees 10 crore;

ii

complaints against unfair contracts, where the value of goods or services paid as consideration does not exceed 10 crore rupees;

iii

appeals against the orders of any District Commission within the State; and

(b)

to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any District Commission within the State, where it appears to the State Commission that such District Commission

 

 

has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or

 

has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested or has acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

2.

A complaint shall be instituted in a State Commission within the limits of whose jurisdiction,—

 

(a)

the opposite party or each of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, ordinarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain; or

(b)

any of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain, provided in such case, the permission of the State Commission is given; or

(c)

the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises; or

(d)

the complainant resides or personally works for gain.

 

Transfer of cases [Section 48]

On the application of the complainant or of its own motion, the State Commission may, at any stage of the proceeding, transfer any complaint pending before a District Commission to another District Commission within the State if the interest of justice so requires.

Procedure applicable to State Commission [Section 49]

Same as in case of District Commission
Note:

  • State Commission may also declare any terms of contract, which is unfair to any consumer, to be null and void.

Review by State Commission in certain cases [Section 50]

The State Commission shall have the power to review any of the order passed by it if there is an error apparent on the face of the record, either of its own motion or on an application made by any of the parties within thirty days of such order.

Appeal to National Commission [Section 51]

  1. Any person aggrieved by an order made by the State Commission may prefer an appeal against such order to the National Commission within a period of 30 days from the date of the order.
    Provided that the National Commission shall not entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days unless it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period: Provided further that no appeal by a person, who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order of the State Commission, shall be entertained by the National Commission unless the appellant has deposited 50% of that amount.
  2. Save as otherwise expressly provided under this Act or by any other law for the time being in force, an appeal shall lie to the National Commission from any order passed in appeal by any State Commission, if the National Commission is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law.
  3. In an appeal involving a question of law, the memorandum of appeal shall precisely state the substantial question of law involved in the appeal.
  4. Where the National Commission is satisfied that a substantial question of law is involved in any case, it shall formulate that question and hear the appeal on that question: Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to take away or abridge the power of the National Commission to hear, for reasons to be recorded in writing, the appeal on any other substantial question of law, if it is satisfied that the case involves such question of law.
  5. An appeal may lie to the National Commission under this section from an order passed ex parte by the State Commission.

Hearing of appeal [Section 52]

An appeal filed before the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall be heard as expeditiously as possible and every endeavour shall be made to dispose of the appeal within a period of 90 days from the date of its admission:

  • No adjournment shall ordinarily be granted by the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, unless sufficient cause is shown and the reasons for grant of adjournment have been recorded in writing by such Commission

Establishment of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [Section 53]

  • The Central Government shall, by notification, establish a National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, to be known as the National Commission.
  • The National Commission shall ordinarily function at the National Capital Region and perform its functions at such other places as the Central Government may notify.

Composition of National Commission [Section 54]

The National Commission shall consist of—

  •  a President; and
  • not less than four and not more than such number of members as may be prescribed.

Jurisdiction of National Commission [Section 58]

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the National Commission shall have jurisdiction—

  1. to entertain—
    • complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration exceeds rupees ten crore: Provided that where the Central Government deems it necessary so to do, it may prescribe such other value, as it deems fit;
    • complaints against unfair contracts, where the value of goods or services paid as consideration exceeds ten crore rupees;
    • appeals against the orders of any State Commission; (iv) appeals against the orders of the Central Authority; and
  2. to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

Procedure applicable to National Commission [Section 59]

Same as in case of District Commission

 Note:

  • National Commission may also declare any terms of contract, which is unfair to any consumer, to be null and void.

Review by National Commission in certain cases [Section 60]

The National Commission shall have the power to review any of the order passed by it if there is an error apparent on the face of the record, either of its own motion or on an application made by any of the parties within 30 days of such order.

Power to set aside ex parte orders [Section 61]

Where an order is passed by the National Commission ex parte, the aggrieved party may make an application to the Commission for setting aside such order.

Transfer of cases [Section 62]

On the application of the complainant or of its own motion, the National Commission may, at any stage of the proceeding, in the interest of justice, transfer any complaint pending before the District Commission of one State to a District Commission of another State or before one State Commission to another State Commission.

Experts to assist National Commission or State Commission [Section 66]

Where the National Commission or the State Commission, as the case may be, on an application by a complainant or otherwise, is of the opinion that it involves the larger interest of consumers, it may direct any individual or organisation or expert to assist the National Commission or the State Commission, as the case may be.

Appeal against order of National Commission [Section 67]

Any person, aggrieved by an order made by the National Commission, may prefer an appeal against such order to the Supreme Court within a period of 30 days from the date of the order:

Provided that the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period:

Provided further that no appeal by a person who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order of the National Commission shall be entertained by the Supreme Court unless that person has deposited 50% of that amount in the manner as may be prescribed.

Finality of orders [Section 68]

Every order of a District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall, if no appeal has been preferred against such order under the provisions of this Act, be final.

Limitation period [Section 69]

  • The District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission shall not admit a complaint unless it is filed within two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen.
  • A complaint may be entertained after the period specified above, if the complainant satisfies the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, that he had sufficient cause for not filing the complaint within such period:
    • Provided that no such complaint shall be entertained unless the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, records its reasons for condoning such delay.

Penalty for non-compliance of order [Section 72]

  • Whoever fails to comply with any order made by the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall be punishable
    • with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 1 month, but which may extend to 3 years, or
    • with fine, which shall not be less than Rs. 25,000, but which may extend to 1 lakh rupees, or
    • with both.
  • For the purpose of this Section, District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be a Judicial Magistrate of first class for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Appeal against order passed under section 72 [Section 73]

Where an order is passed under section 72, an appeal shall lie, both on facts and on law from—

  • the order made by the District Commission to the State Commission;
  • the order made by the State Commission to the National Commission; and
  • the order made by the National Commission to the Supreme Court.

No appeal shall lie before any court, from any order of a District Commission or a State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be.

Every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of 30 days from the date of order of a District Commission or a State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be.

Provided that the State Commission or the National Commission or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days, if it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the said period of 30 days.

MEDIATION

Establishment of consumer mediation cell [Section 74]

  • The State Government shall establish a consumer mediation cell to be attached to each of the District Commissions and the State Commissions of that State.
  • The Central Government shall establish a consumer mediation cell to be attached to the National Commission and each of the regional Benches.
  • Every consumer mediation cell shall maintain—
    • a list of empanelled mediators;
    • a list of cases handled by the cell;
    • record of proceeding; and
    • any other information as may be specified by regulations.

Empanelment of mediators [Section 75]
For the purpose of mediation, the National Commission or the State Commission or the District Commission, as the case may be, shall prepare a panel of the mediators to be maintained by the consumer mediation cell attached to it, on the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of the President and a member of that Commission.

The panel of mediators shall be valid for a period of 5 years, and the empanelled mediators shall be eligible to be considered for re-empanelment for another term.

In any case, while nominating any person from the panel of mediators, his suitability for resolving the consumer dispute involved shall be considered.

Procedure for mediation [Section 79]

  • The mediation shall be held in the consumer mediation cell attached to the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be.
  • Where a consumer dispute is referred for mediation, the mediator nominated by such Commission shall have regard to
    • the rights and obligations of the parties,
    • the usages of trade, if any,
    • the circumstances giving rise to the consumer dispute and
    • such other relevant factors, as he may deem necessary

and shall be guided by the principles of natural justice while carrying out mediation.

Settlement through mediation [Section 80]

If an agreement is reached between the parties, pursuant to mediation
Pursuant to mediation, if an agreement is reached between the parties with respect to all of the issues involved in the consumer dispute or with respect to only some of the issues, the terms of such agreement shall be reduced to writing accordingly, and signed by the parties to such dispute or their authorised representatives.

  • The mediator shall prepare a settlement report of the settlement and forward the signed agreement along with such report to the concerned Commission.

Where no agreement is reached between the parties
Where no agreement is reached between the parties within the specified time or the mediator is of the opinion that settlement is not possible, he shall prepare his report accordingly and submit the same to the concerned Commission.

Recording settlement and passing of order [Section 81]

  • The District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall, within 7 days of the receipt of the settlement report, pass suitable order recording such settlement of consumer dispute and dispose of the matter accordingly.
  • Where the consumer dispute is settled only in part, the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall record settlement of the issues which have been so settled and continue to hear other issues involved in such consumer dispute.
  • Where the consumer dispute could not be settled by mediation, the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall continue to hear all the issues involved in such consumer dispute.

PRODUCT LIABILITY

Product liability action [Section 83]
A product liability action may be brought by a complainant against

  • a product manufacturer or
  • a product service provider or
  • a product seller, as the case may be,

for any harm caused to him on account of a defective product.

Liability of product manufacturer [Section 84]
A product manufacturer shall be liable in a product liability action, if—

  • the product contains a manufacturing defect; or
  • the product is defective in design; or
  • there is a deviation from manufacturing specifications; or
  • the product does not conform to the express warranty; or
  • the product fails to contain adequate instructions of correct usage to prevent any harm or any warning regarding improper or incorrect usage.

A product manufacturer shall be liable in a product liability action even if he proves that he was not negligent or fraudulent in making the express warranty of a product.

Liability of product service provider [Section 85]
A product service provider shall be liable in a product liability action, if—

  • the service provided by him was faulty or imperfect or deficient or inadequate in quality, nature or manner of performance which is required to be provided by or under any law for the time being in force, or pursuant to any contract or otherwise; or
  • there was an act of omission or commission or negligence or conscious withholding any information which caused harm; or
  • the service provider did not issue adequate instructions or warnings to prevent any harm; or
  • the service did not conform to express warranty or the terms and conditions of the contract.

Liability of product sellers [Section 86]
A product seller who is not a product manufacturer shall be liable in a product liability action, if—

  • he has exercised substantial control over the designing, testing, manufacturing, packaging or labelling of a product that caused harm; or
  • he has altered or modified the product and such alteration or modification was the substantial factor in causing the harm; or
  • he has made an express warranty of a product independent of any express warranty made by a manufacturer and such product failed to conform to the express warranty made by the product seller which caused the harm; or
  • the product has been sold by him and the identity of product manufacturer of such product is not known, or if known, the service of notice or process or warrant cannot be effected on him or he is not subject to the law which is in force in India or the order, if any, passed or to be passed cannot be enforced against him; or
  • he failed to exercise reasonable care in assembling, inspecting or maintaining such product or he did not pass on the warnings or instructions of the product manufacturer regarding the dangers involved or proper usage of the product while selling such product and such failure was the proximate cause of the harm.

Exceptions to product liability action [Section 87]

  1. A product liability action cannot be brought against the product seller if, at the time of harm, the product was misused, altered, or modified.
  2. In any product liability action based on the failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions, the product manufacturer shall not be liable, if—
    • the product was purchased by an employer for use at the workplace and the product manufacturer had provided warnings or instructions to such employer;
    • the product was sold as a component or material to be used in another product and necessary warnings or instructions were given by the product manufacturer to the purchaser of such component or material, but the harm was caused to the complainant by use of the end product in which such component or material was used;
    • the product was one which was legally meant to be used or dispensed only by or under the supervision of an expert or a class of experts and the product manufacturer had employed reasonable means to give the warnings or instructions for usage of such product to such expert or class of experts; or
    • the complainant, while using such product, was under the influence of alcohol or any prescription drug which had not been prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  3. A product manufacturer shall not be liable for failure to instruct or warn about a danger which is obvious or commonly known to the user or consumer of such product or which, such user or consumer, ought to have known, taking into account the characteristics of such product.

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Penalty for noncompliance of direction of Central Authority [Section 88]
Whoever, fails to comply with any direction of the Central Authority under sections 20 and 21, shall be punished

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months or
  • with fine which may extend to Rs. 25 Lakh, or
  • with both.

Punishment for false or misleading advertisement [Section 89]
Any manufacturer or service provider who causes a false or misleading advertisement to be made which is prejudicial to the interest of consumers shall be punished

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years and
  • with fine which may extend to 10 lakh rupees;

and for every subsequent offence, be punished

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years and
  • with fine which may extend to 50 lakh rupees.

Punishment for manufacturing for sale or storing, selling or distributing or importing products containing adulterant [Section 90]

1.

Whoever, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any product containing an adulterant shall be punished, if such act—

 

a.

does not result in any injury to the consumer,

 

 

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and
  • with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees;

b.

causing injury not amounting to grievous hurt to the consumer,

 

 

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and
  •  with fine which may extend to three lakh rupees;

c.

causing injury resulting in grievous hurt to the consumer

 

 

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and
  • with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees; and

d.

results in the death of a consumer,

 

 

  • with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life and

 

  • with fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees.

2

The offences under clauses (c) and (d) of sub-section (1) shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

3

The court may, in case of first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person, under any law for the time being in force, for a period up to 2 years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—

 

a.

“adulterant” means any material including extraneous matter which is employed or used for making a product unsafe;

b.

grievous hurt” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in section 320 of the Indian Penal Code.

Punishment for manufacturing for sale or for storing or selling or distributing or importing spurious goods [Section 91]

1.

Whoever, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any spurious goods shall be punished, if such act—

 

a.

causing injury not amounting to grievous hurt to the consumer,

 

  • with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and
  • with fine which may extend to three lakh rupees;

b.

causing injury resulting in grievous hurt to the consumer,

 

  •  with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and
  • with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees;

c.

results in the death of a consumer,

 

  • with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years, but may extend to imprisonment for life and
  • with fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees.

2.

The offences under clauses (b) and (c) of sub-section (1) shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

3.

Notwithstanding the punishment under sub-section (1), the court may, in case of first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person referred to in that sub-section, under any law for the time being in force, for a period up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence

 

Grievous hurt as per Section 320 of IPC:
The following kinds of hurt only are desig­nated as “grievous”:—
(First) — Emasculation.
(Secondly) —Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
(Thirdly) — Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear,
(Fourthly) —Privation of any member or joint.
(Fifthly) — Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
(Sixthly) — Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
(Seventhly) —Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
(Eighthly) —Any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.

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