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Consumer Protection Act, 2019: Improvements and obstacles in future

A consumer might be a customer or an end user of goods and services, what ever you call them, almost all consumers at some point of time have been victims of degraded or damaged goods and/or have remained dissatisfied with some services they might have opted for.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 [CPA] was enacted to protect the consumers and to address their grievances; the act provides remedies to aggrieved consumers by facilitating approach to authorised forums where they can claim damages suffered.

Although the Consumer Protection act has been effective in providing relief to consumers, it has, on many occasions been suitably and unsuitably interpreted. For example, the Hon?ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Indian Medical Association vs. V.P. Shantha and Ors., widened the scope of the word service? as defined in the act and added the term healthcare? as a service even though the same was and has never in fact been mentioned in the act.
With growing awareness, the Consumer Protection Act has been become increasingly useful for complainants.

This however has led to a tremendous increase in the volume of pending litigation not only before the District Forum or the State Commission but also before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
In order to address added challenges of the CPA and to strengthen its effect, the Consumer Act Amendment of 2019 was notified and was brought to force on 20th July 2020. The amendment brought in various changes, some acceptable and some, which can only be tested by time and on how well they are interpreted.
It can be said that the changes brought into the act will further empower consumers as it includes ? broadening of the definition of consumers, which now also includes persons who engage in offline or online transactions through electronic means or by teleshopping or direct selling or multi-level marketing.

This brings e-commerce into the ambit of the act thereby allowing consumers to file complaints against entities that sell goods or provide services through the Internet. The changes further include addition of ?product liability? where not only the manufacturer but also the seller and the product service provider can be held liable for the goods or services under the act.
This might also be helpful in the eradication and reduction of counterfeit products from the market, as not only the manufacturer but also the seller of the counterfeit product (in certain circumstances) can be held liable under the Act.

Another important modification is the change in pecuniary jurisdiction of the consumer forums, which now state that when the claim is (i) between zero rupee (0) to 1 crore rupees the complaint would lie before the District Commission (ii) more than 1 crore rupees but less than 10 crore rupees it would lie before the State Commission and (iii) any claim above 10 crore rupees would lie before the National Commission.

The fact that the word healthcare? has not been included in the CPA, 2019 will raise questions as to whether the same would still lie within the scope of the word service? as defined under the Act. The footing for this lies in the judgement of The State of Karnataka v. The Karnataka Pawn Brokers Assn. and Ors., which states that the parliament has the power to overturn any judgement by passing a law that alters the basis of the judgement as long as the same is applied prospectively and once such a law is passed the judgement ceases to apply in all future cases.

Analogously, as healthcare explicitly has not been defined under the new CPA, 2019 it is not clear whether IMA v. V.P. Shantha would still be applicable in future.
Along with other modifications, the CPA, 2019 will now have a new central authority i.e. Central Consumer Protection Authority? (CCPA), which will be envisaged with investigative powers that will allow it to investigate into matters relating to consumer rights, unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.
CCPA has also been given power to impose penalties, issue safety notices to the consumers, pass orders to recall goods or withdraw services that are hazardous, order reimbursement of the price paid, and authorise the discontinuation of unfair trade practices, amongst others.

Another major addition made to the act is that the consumer now can file a complaint in her/his city of residence regardless of where the goods or service provider resides within the territory of India.
The act will now also provide for settlement of disputes by way of mediation in case there is a possibility of settlement at the stage of admission of complaint or at any later stage, if acceptable to both parties. The outcome of the CPA, 2019 cannot be assessed ahead of time. However, it can be said that all stakeholders of a transaction will now have to be more cautious.

(Views are personal) 

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Nagpur News

RMBRCN celebrates Charter Presentation & Installation, Rina Sinha becomes Charter President



The Rotary Means Business chapter of Rotary Club Of Nagpur (RMBRCN) celebrated their Charter Presentation and Installation of Board on September 17, 2023 in a crisp official ceremony at Hotel Centre Point, Nagpur.

Rotary Means Business encourages Rotarians to support the success of their fellow Rotarians by doing business with them and by referring others to them.

Charter President Past President Rtn Rina Sinha presided over the ceremony. Renowned entrepreneur and Rotarian Aspi Bapuna, Chairman of Bapuna Group, was the Chief Guest and  Rtn Namita Sharma, President of RCN, was the Guest of Honour.

The Board of Directors of RMBRCN include Rtn Navneet Jain, Vice President, Rtn Mohammed Master, Honorary Secretary, Rtn Sanjay Aggarwal Treasurer, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia Director Chapter Service, Rtn Rahul Shrivastava, Director Vocational Service, Dr Ruchi Choudhry, Director Membership Development, Ranjana Duseja, Director Attendance.

Past Rotary District Governor (PDG) Shabbir Shakir, Past Presidents- Bharat Goenka , Khushnoor Chugh, Sanjiv Chugh, Akhtar Parvez, Tejinder Singh Rawal, Alok Goenka,  Jerestine Watchmaker, Sandeep Dhodapkar, Sanjay Arora, President RMB Nagpur, and Behram Patel and Amitabh Sinha were present.

President Rina Sinha informed that within a short period of its formation already 48 members representing various businesses  have joined the chapter and the numbers are increasing . The Chapter has already crossed 5 crores of business amongst their members and RMB will further strengthen Rotary in membership growth and retention .

Chief Guest Rtn Aspi Bapuna lauded the chapter’s success and reiterated that its comfortable and safe to do business among fellow rotarians as all follow the Four Way Test of Rotary. Jerestine introduced President Rina. Aspi Bapuna  presented the charter and installed President Rina Sinha . Rtn Namita congratulated the RMB chapter and informed that this is the new initiative at RCN.The Board was installed by Rina Sinha and all members were installed by the Past Presidents. An exclusive digital Monthly Magazine ‘Growth Engine’ was launched by Editor Niharika Chugh Vali.

 Navneet Jain and Rahul Choudhry conducted the referral and thank you session where enthusiastic members informed about their successful business details. Nishchay Sinha launched the social media and MYRMB app which connects members to other chapters digitally, Treasurer Sanjay Agarwal gave treasurers report, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia managed the event. Rtn Parag Datey and Niharika were the Masters of Ceremony (MOCs). Secretary Mohammed Master proposed the formal Vote of Thanks .

Also read: Jayaswal Neco group celebrate BL Shaw’s 90th Birthday, 50th Founder’s Day in a huge gala event in Nagpur

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Nagpur News

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates double-decker electric bus availed for senior citizens in Nagpur



Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, on Saturday, inaugurated the double-decker electric bus designed for senior citizens in Nagpur. The initiative has been undertaken in association with Ashok Leyland’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Committee and Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan.

Executive President of Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan Datta Meghe, Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland Limited Yash Sachar, CEO of Switch Mobility Mahesh Babu, and other dignitaries were present during the inauguration.

“I am very thankful to Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle arm ‘Switch Mobility’ for donating an electric bus for our senior citizens. The bus can hold a capacity of 65 people and will benefit a lot to disabled and senior citizens,” Gadkari said.

“We already have a green Electra bus available to us for the past five to six years. Krishna Reddy has taken the responsibility of repairing and providing air-conditioning to the bus, moreover, he is providing us with one additional bus. A Tata Motor bus will be arriving this month as well, giving us a total of four buses to operate. This will solve the issue of waiting list due to the lack of buses for senior citizens in the city.” he added.

With the help of these buses, senior citizens can avail the benefit of free trips to religious places like Ambhora, Adasa, Shegaon, Mahur, Dhapewada, and Kalamb.

Also read: NMC confiscates 117 PoP idols, collects Rs 10,000 fine from seller


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Nagpur News

Nagpur: Married man accused of girlfriend’s rape commits suicide on Facebook live



A 38-year-old married man named Manish alias Raj Yadav, on Sunday, committed suicide during a Facebook live-stream after allegedly being accused of rape by his girlfriend and her family in Nagpur.

During the live stream, Manish, who was married and a father to three children, stated that his 19-year-old girlfriend, Kajal, along with her family members demanded a sum of five lakh rupees and threatened to press charges of rape if he failed to do so.

On September 6, the situation became grave as the woman’s family accused him of eloping after Kajal went missing from her residence.

The deceased refused the claims of having any sexual relationship with the woman and identified her, her family, and a photo studio operator responsible for his condition. He, then, jumped into the river.

After the live video surfaced online, Kalamna Police launched a search operation and recovered the deceased’s body from the river. Four people have been detained in the case for questioning. Further investigation is underway.

Also read: NMC confiscates 117 PoP idols, collects Rs 10,000 fine from seller

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