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Shortcomings of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
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Shortcomings of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019

As with changing times and situation, it is very important to provide the equipment’s necessary to resolve and progress, as in the country with 1.3 billion consumers and therefore it was a priority to come with the new Consumer law that will help and provide remedies to advance and complex cases that arise before the court of law. Although every new legislation brings with it its own bright and dark sides, it also becomes important to understand the darker part of the legislation.

Drawbacks

Following are the shortcoming or drawbacks that are understood to be the part of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

  1. The Act provides relief for the paid service and does provide or even mentions any service that is provided for free of cost as charity or as a social responsibility. The Act does not include services such as clinical treatment or treatment in a hospital where service is provided free of cost to the patients, and it also left to mention the duty of the government department or services provided by the government unregulated such as sanitation, water supply, etc.
  2. The Act fails to provide any prohibition or any strict liability for any person offering for any goods that are hazardous for the public at large when put to use, the calluses mentioned provides the safety of the consumer from such products being marketed in public. These goods that are marketed should be done in the procedure laid down in the Act, but it remains silent on the consequences if there is a violation of the rules.
  3. A consumer as stated by the Act is one who consumes the service offered by a seller in consideration by any other way, but the Act only protects the interest of those consumers who have suffered a loss or damages due to unfair trade practices or by the Act in a contravention by the trader. The Act says nothing about the unfair practices or has not provided the legal back up to the rule of protection of consumer from any unfair trade practices.
  4. The all-new consumer legislation increasing the scope of the applicant to the district forum does not provide a wider scope of authority by not providing the powers to order interim injunction or cease and desist order as quick resolution till the pending matter.
  5. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 does not or will not entertain any complaint or will not allow any person to lodge a complaint under the Act if such person can resort to any alternate remedy or dispute resolution mechanism provided in this behalf.
  6. The Act provides complete relief by not holding the chief executive, managing director or manager of any organization which is the part at default in providing the services as per the Act, it also specifies a time frame for expediting the process of resolution that is 90 days per se, but such process takes time longer than mentioned.
  7. Apart from many rights provided by the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 under section 6 such as Right to Choose, Right to Safety, Right to be Informed, Right to Redress and Right to Consumer Education but it completely remains silent on the Right to Safe and Healthy Environment for the consumer.
  8. The reality of the situation is far from the idea of justice. The Legislation is failed at the stage of implementation, and its execution is rather difficult to root out. A large number of pending cases at the Court and slow process of the court is a complex problem that is needed to be dealt with. Moreover, the Act has failed to provide the redressal forums with authority to remedy the situation and serious consequence if there is any violation of the court orders. 
  9. The authority under the Consumer Protection of Act, 2019 has widened the range of the District forums for accepting the complaints with regards to pecuniary jurisdiction, but the problems stand where there come issues of application and compliances of rules and regulations, the personnel department of the District Forum has very few members to work these results in the burden of the workload, there were issues regarding the space provided for carrying out the adjudication activity.
  10. The Act provides mediation as an alternate dispute resolution then resorting to the redressal forums, whereas mediation in itself remains futile to remedy the situation where the complaint is regarding defective goods or if there is the deficiency of service from the service provider. The common understanding among the consumer is usually to resolve the dispute without resorting for institutional help so mediation as an expressed provision will be of no better help it can though used for any disputes where the claim is higher it might be beneficial for such monetary compensation or performances. The Act remained silent on the issues regarding medical negligence, which should be a matter that can be referred to mediation, but such proviso has not been made in the Act.

Conclusion

Considering the Act and its application, it becomes a valid argument to support it. However, the government should focus on empowering the workforce needed for satisfying the true letter and spirit of the Act. The Act is to be read in a way that should suffice the requirement of not just the consumers who could afford to bear the burden of litigation but also who need quick hand remedy for those whose claims rather not so time-consuming.

The government should consider the movement of the consumer in its entirety to reduce the problem with the help of expensive infrastructure dealing redressal and should cover every aspect of goods and services wherever there is a need to curb the unfair practices and not just the areas which can be covered. The Act with its new provision has obviously a catalyst to prohibiting the Act of unfair and deceptive practice but some future amendments as mentioned the above article will make it better in its application and results.

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