Consumer law involves regulations and statutes that seek to create a more equitable balance for buyers in the marketplace and prevent sellers from using dishonest tactics. Our practice pertains to the following, among others.
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019
The Act came into force on 20th July 2020. The Act empowers the consumers and help them in protecting their rights via various notified Rules and provisions like Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant/ spurious goods. It not only provides protection to buyers from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/ platforms. (Act available in PDF here)
Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020
The Rules came into force on July 23rd, 2020 and were enacted with the objective to regulate the E-commerce sector in India and protect consumers from unfair trade practices on such platforms. It attempts to combine the teeth of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Indian exchange control laws (IEC Regulations) and the Information Technology Act 2000, to ensure fair play in technology and data driven ecommerce environment. (Act available in PDF here)
The Consumer Protection (Mediation) Rules, 2020
The Rules came into force on July 20th, 2020 and were enacted to regulate and implement alternate dispute resolution proceeding, i.e., mediation in consumers proceedings and enable amicable settlements in consumer disputes. (Act available in PDF here)
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986
The Act came into force on December 24th, 1986 and was enacted as a single point access to justice for consumers from the traditional sellers. The Act was substituted by The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 which not only provides protection to buyers from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/ platforms. (Act available in PDF here)
Submission of Comments on the Proposed Amendments to Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 to the Department of Consumer Affairs
Despite notification of the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, various stakeholders alleged that large e-commerce entities are adopting unfair trade practices, which may have an adverse impact on consumer welfare. These include: product search results manipulation, preferential treatment to some sellers, marketplace e-commerce entities having indirect stake in some sellers on their platform, selling goods close to expiration, predatory pricing, among others.
Various amendments have now been proposed in the Rules to curb such malpractices. While the proposed amendments do well in in promoting transparent information disclosure for consumers, and protecting consumers against manipulative search indexes, there exists various lacunas in them. These have been captured in our submission. (Read More)