- The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) is a quasi-judicial commission in India which was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
- Its head office is in New Delhi.
- The Commission is headed by a sitting or a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India or a sitting or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court.
- NCDRC’s jurisdiction involves:
- complaints where the value of the goods or services exceeds rupees ten crore;
- appeals against the orders of State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions;
- appeals against the orders of the Central Consumer Protection Authority;
- Any person aggrieved by an order of NCDRC, may prefer an Appeal against such order to the Supreme Court of India within a period of 30 days.
Why in News?
- The Department of Consumer Affairs has invited applications to fill two existing vacancies for the post of Members in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
About Consumer Protection Act, 2019
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 aims 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.
- The Act replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Key features of the Act
- Definition of consumer: A consumer is defined as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration. It does not include a person who obtains a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purpose.
- It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling.
- The following consumer rights have been defined in the Act, including the right to:
- be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property;
- be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services;
- be assured of access to a variety of goods or services at competitive prices; and
- seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices.
- Product liability clause: A manufacturer or a service provider has to compensate a consumer if their good/service cause injury or loss to the consumer due to manufacturing defect or poor service. The most significant impact of this provision will be on e-commerce platforms as it also includes service providers under its ambit.
- Consumer Protection Councils: The Act mandates establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the Centre as well as in each State and District, with a view to promoting consumer awareness. The Central Council is headed by Minister In-charge of the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government and the State Councils by the Minister In-charge of the Consumer Affairs in the State Governments.
- Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): To be set up by the central government to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. It will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements.
- Misleading advertisements: The CCPA may impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement. In case of a subsequent offence, the fine may extend to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to five years.
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs): It will be set up at the district, state, and national levels. A consumer can file a complaint with CDRCs in relation to:
- Unfair or restrictive trade practices;
- Defective goods or services;
- Overcharging or deceptive charging; and
- The offering of goods or services for sale which may be hazardous to life and safety.
- Appeals from a District CDRC will be heard by the State CDRC. Appeals from the State CDRC will be heard by the National CDRC. Final appeal will lie before the Supreme Court.
- The Act also enables regulations to be notified on E-commerce and direct selling with focus on protection of interest of consumers.