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    Parliament passes Consumer Protection Bill

    Published on August 7, 2019

    Parliament has passed the  Consumer Protection Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabah approving it today.

    The Lok Sabha has already passed it. The bill aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute.

    The Bill has a provision to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority 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.

    The authority will have the power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser o up to ten lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement.

    The Bill also has a provision to set up Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at the district, state, and national levels.

    A consumer can file a complaint with the Commissions regarding defective goods or services and overcharging or deceptive charging.

    Replying to the debate on the bill, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the interests of consumers are foremost for the government and this bill is for protecting their rights.

    He appealed to the States to create more awareness about the rights of the consumers. Mr Paswan also assured the Members that he will also hold consultations to accommodate their suggestions before framing the rules.

    Earlier, participating in the debate, P L Punia of Congress said that the government should see that nobody can be charged more from consumers than the sale price of items.

    Derek O’Brien of TMC called for women representation in the Central Consumer Protection Authority. KK Ragesh of CPI(M) demanded the bill to be referred to the Select Committee. R. Vaithilingam of AIADMK also supported the Bill.

    Members from other political parties took part in the discussion.

    Parliament has also passed the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabha approving it today.

    The Lok Sabha has already passed it.   The Bill amends the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 which provides for the eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises in certain cases.

    The Bill adds a provision laying down the procedure for eviction from residential accommodation and it requires an estate officer to issue a written notice to a person if he is in unauthorised occupation of residential accommodation.

    The notice will require the person to show the cause of why an eviction order should not be made against him, within three working days.

    After considering the cause shown, and making any other inquiries, the estate officer will make an order for eviction.

    If the person in unauthorised occupation of the residential accommodation challenges the eviction order passed by the estate officer in court, he will be required to pay damages for every month of such occupation.

    Speaking on the bill, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the amendments will facilitate smooth and speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from government residences. He said, the move will reduce the waiting period of residential accommodations for the eligible persons.

    Initiating the discussion, Ripun Bora of Congress supported the bill but said that some provisions which give extra power the Estate Officer may be misused. Members from other political parties also participated in the discussion.

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