THE CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL, 2018-  As Introduced In Lok Sabha

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for the purpose of making provision for establishment of consumer protection councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer disputes, etc. Although, the working of the consumer dispute redressal agencies has served the purpose to a considerable extent under the said Act, the disposal of cases has not been fast due to various constraints. Several shortcomings have been noticed while administering the various provisions of the said Act.

2. Consumer markets for goods and services have undergone drastic transformation since the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act in 1986. The modern market place contains a plethora of products and services. The emergence of global supply chains, rise in international trade and the rapid development of e-commerce have led to new delivery systems for goods and services and have provided new options and opportunities for consumers. Equally, this has rendered the consumer vulnerable to new forms of unfair trade and unethical business practices. Misleading advertisements, tele- marketing, multi-level marketing, direct selling and e-commerce pose new challenges to consumer protection and will require appropriate and swift executive interventions to prevent consumer detriment. There is, therefore, a need to amend the Act to address the myriad and constantly emerging vulnerabilities of the consumers. In view of the above, it is proposed to repeal and re-enact the Act.

3. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 provides for the establishment of an executive agency to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers; make interventions when necessary to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices and to initiate class action including enforcing recall, refund and return of products, etc. This fills an institutional void in the regulatory regime extant. Currently, the task of prevention of or acting against unfair trade practices is not vested in any authority. This has been provided for in a manner that the role envisaged for the CCPA complements that of the sector regulators and duplication, overlap or potential conflict is avoided.

4. The Bill also envisages provisions for product liability action on account of harm caused to consumers due to a defective product or by deficiency in services. Further, provision of “Mediation” as an Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism has also been provided.

5. The Bill provides for several provisions aimed at simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies, inter alia, relating to enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies; increasing minimum number of Members in the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and provisions for consumers to file complaints electronically, etc.

6. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives.

NEW DELHI;

RAM VILAS PASWAN

The 23rd December, 2017.

Notes on clauses

Clause 1. This clause provides for the short title and commencement and application of the proposed legislation.

Clause 2. This clause provides for the definition of the expressions used in the proposed legislation.

Clause 3.This clause provides for establishment of a Central Consumer Protection Council by the Central Government, which shall be an advisory council. It also provides its composition.

Clause 4.This clause provides for the procedure for meetings of Central Council.

Clause 5.—This clause provides for the objects of Central Council, which shall be to render advice on promotion and protection of the consumers’ rights.

Clause 6.This clause provides for establishment of State Council by the State Governments, which shall be an advisory council. It also provides its composition.

Clause 7.This clause provides for the objects of the State Council, which shall be to render advice on promotion and protection of the consumers’ rights.

Clause 8.This clause provides for establishment of District Consumer Protection Councils by the State Governments, which shall be advisory councils.

Clause 9.This clause provides for the objects of the District Consumer Protection Councils, which shall be to render advice on promotion and protection of the consumers’ rights.

Clause 10.This clause provides for establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority, its composition a Chief Commissioner and such number of other Commissioners as may be prescribed, and its headquarter and regional and other offices.

Clause 11.This clause provides that the Central Government may, by notification, make rules to provide for the qualifications for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of the service of the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners of the Central Authority.

Clause 12.This clause provides that vacancy etc., in the Central Authority shall not to invalidate proceedings of Central Authority.

Clause 13.This clause provides that the Central Government shall provide the Central Authority such number officers and other employees as it considers necessary for the efficient performance of its functions under this legislation, and empowers the Central Government to prescribe the salary and allowances and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the Central Authority and also empowers the Central Authority to engage, in accordance with the procedure specified by regulations, such number of experts and professionals to assist it in the discharge of its functions.

Clause 14.This clause provides that the Central Authority shall regulate the procedure for transaction of its business and allocation of its business among Chief Commissioner and Commissioners as may be specified by regulations.

Clause 15.This clause provides for setting up of an Investigation Wing in the Central Authority headed by a Director -General and with such number of Additional Director General, Director, Joint Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Director, and delegation of powers by Director-General to them as the case may be, while conducting inquiries or investigations. The form and manner of investigation or inquiry by Director-General and submit to Central Authority as may be specified by regulations.

Clause 16.This clause provides for powers of the District Collector on matters relating to violations of consumer rights, unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements, within his jurisdiction and submit his report to the Central Authority or to the Commissioner of a regional office, as the case may be.

Clause 17.—This clause provides for filing of complaint relating to violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices or false or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of consumers as a class, before the District Collector or the Commissioner of regional officer of the Central Authority.

Clause 18.—-This clause provides for the powers and functions of the Central Authority.

Clause 19.—This clause provides for the power of Central Authority to cause investigation to be made by the Director-General or by the District Collector or to refer matter for investigation to other Regulator.

Clause 20.— This clause provides for the power of Central Authority to recall goods, or withdrawal of services which are dangerous, hazardous or unsafe; reimbursement of the prices of goods or services so recalled to purchasers of such goods or services; and discontinuation of practices which are unfair and prejudicial to consumers’ interest.

Clause 21.—This clause provides for the power of Central Authority to issue directions against false or misleading advertisements including imposition of penalties.

Clause 22.—This clause provides for the power of the Director-General or any other officer authorized by him or the District Collector for search and seizure after preliminary inquiry if there is any reason to believe that any person has violated any consumer rights or committed unfair trade practice or causes any false or misleading advertisement.

Clause 23.— This clause provides that the Central Government may, if it considers necessary, by notification, designate any statutory authority or body to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the Central Authority referred to in clause 10.

Clause 24.—This clause provides for preferring appeal to the National Commission against any order passed by the Central Authority under clauses 20 and 21.

Clause 25.—This clause provides for making provision of grants by the Central Government to the Central Authority for being utilized for the purposes of this Act.

Clause 26.—This clause provides for maintenance of proper accounts and other relevant records, preparation of an annual statement of accounts in such form as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor- General of India.

Clause 27.—This clause provides that the Central Authority shall submit an annual report on its functioning and performance and such other reports and returns as may be directed, and copies of such reports and returns shall be forwarded to the Central Government.

Clause 28.—This clause provides for establishment of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at the District level by the State Government with a President and not less than two members and not more than such number of members as may be prescribed in consultation with Central Government in each District Commission. This clause also empowers the State Government to establish more than one District Commission in a district.

Clause 29.—This clause provides that the Central Government may, by notification, make rules to provide for the qualifications, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, resignation and removal of the President and members of the District Commission.

Clause 30.— This clause provides that the State Government may, by notification, make rules to provide for salaries and allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the President, and members of the District Commission.

Clause 31.— This clause provides that any person appointed as President or, as the case may be, a member of the District Commission immediately before the commencement of this Act shall continue to hold office as such as President, as the case may be, as member till the completion of his term for which he has been appointed.

Clause 32.—This clause empowers the State Government to fill up the casual vacancies and other vacancies in the office of the President or member of a District Commission, direct any other District Commission to exercise the jurisdiction in respect of that district also; or the President or a member of any other District Commission to exercise the powers and discharge the functions of the President or member of that District Commission also.

Clause 33.—This clause makes provision for the State Government to provide the District Commission with such officers and other employees as may be required to assist the District Commission in the discharge of its functions and that the officers and other employees of the District Commission shall discharge their functions under the general superintendence of the President of the District Commission. This clause also makes provision for prescribing the salaries and allowances and the other terms and conditions of service of the officers and other employees of the District Commission by the State Government.

Clause 34.—This clause provides for the pecuniary and geographical jurisdiction for filing of complaints in the District Commission. The pecuniary jurisdiction shall be for value of goods or services not exceeding one crore rupees. A consumer may file a complaint in a District Commission within the local limits of whose jurisdiction he resides or personally works for gain. This clause also makes provision for Circuit Benches of District Commission.

Clause 35.—This clause provides the manner in which complaint shall be made including enabling provision for filing of complaints electronically, fee to be prescribed for filing of complaints.

Clause 36.—This clause provides for the manner of conducting proceedings by the District Commission and includes time limit of twenty-one days for admissibility of complaints, deemed admissibility of complaints if admissibility is not decided within the said twenty-one days.

Clause 37.—This clause provides for reference by the District Commission of a complaint for mediation with the consent of both the parties to the dispute.

Clause 38.—This clause provides for the procedure on admission of a complaint by the District Forum.

Clause 39.—This clause provides for finding of the District Commission, after the proceeding has been conducted in a complaint if the District Commission is satisfied that the goods complained against suffer from any of the defects specified in the complaint or that any of the allegations contained in the complaint about the services or any unfair trade practices are proved. This clause specifies the relief or compensation, a District Commission may grant to a consumer.

Clause 40.—This clause provides that a District Commission shall have the power to review its orders if there is any error apparent on the face of record.

Clause 41.—This clause provides for appeal against order of the District Commission to the State Commission on the grounds of facts or law in such form and manner as may be prescribed; entertaining appeals by the State Commission after the expiry of the period of thirty days on being satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period; entertaining appeal by the State Commission only after the appellant has deposited in the prescribed manner fifty per cent. of the amount ordered to be paid to the complainant; barring appeal from an order passed under clause 80 on the basis of settlement reached between the parties.

Clause 42.—This clause provides for establishment of State Commission by the State Government, setting up of regional benches of the State Commission, composition of the State Commission having a President and not less than four and not more than such number of members, as may be prescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Central Government.

Clause 43.—This clause empowers the Central Government to make rules for the qualification for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, resignation and removal of the President and members of the State Commission.

Clause 44. — This clause provides that the State Government will make rules to provide for salaries and allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the President and members of the State Commission.

Clause 45.— This clause provides that any person appointed as President or, as the case may be, a member of the State Commission immediately before the commencement of this Act to hold office as such, as President or member, as the case may be, till the completion of his term.

Clause 46. — This clause makes provision for the State Government to provide officers and other employees required to assist the State Commission in the discharge of its functions and also to prescribe the salaries and allowances payable to and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the State Commission.

Clause 47.—This clause provides for the pecuniary and geographical jurisdiction for filing of complaints in the State Commission. The pecuniary jurisdiction shall be for value of goods or services exceeds rupees one core but does not exceed rupees ten crore. It also provides that a consumer can file a complaint in State Commission within the local limits of whose jurisdiction he resides or personally works for gain.

Clause 48.—This clause empowers the State Commission, at any stage of the proceeding, to transfer any complaint pending before the District Commission to another District Commission within the State if the interest of justice so requires.

Clause 49.—This clause provides that the provisions under clauses 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 shall, with such modifications as may be necessary, be applicable for the disposal of disputes by the State Commission and that the State Commission will deal with matters relating to declaring any terms of contract, which is unfair to any consumer, to be null and void.

Clause 50.—This clause empowers the State Commission to review any order made by it, if there is an error apparent on the face of record either of its own motion or on an application made by any of the parties within thirty days of such order.

Clause 51.—This clause provides for appeal against the order of the State Commission to the National Commission within a period of thirty days from the date of the order in such form and manner as may be prescribed if the appeal involves a substantial question of law; entertaining the appeal by the National Commission after the expiry of the period of thirty days on being satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period; entertaining the appeal by the National Commission only after the appellant has deposited in the prescribed manner fifty per cent. of the amount ordered to be paid.

Clause 52.—This clause provides for disposal of appeal by the State Commission or the National Commission within a period of ninety days from the date of its admission; not granting of adjournment without sufficient cause; recording of reasons in writing if the appeal is disposed of after the specified period of ninety days.

Clause 53.— This clause provides for establishment of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission by the Central Government, which will ordinarily function in the National Capital Region and perform its functions at such other places as the Central Government may in consultation with the National Commission notify in the Official Gazette. The Central Government to establish regional benches of the National Commission at such places, as it deems fit.

Clause 54.—This clause provides for composition of the National Commission with a President and not less than four and not more than such number of members, as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Clause 55.— This clause empowers the Central Government may, by notification, to make rules to provide for qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of service of the President and members of the National Commission with provision that the President and members of the National Commission shall hold office for such term as specified in the rules made by the Central Government but not exceeding five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall be eligible for re-appointment and that no President or member shall hold office as such after he has attained such age as specified in the rules made by the Central Government which shall not exceed seventy years in the case of the President and sixty-seven years in the case of any other member. Sub-clause (3) of this clause provides that neither the salary and allowances nor the other terms and conditions of service of President and members of the National Commission shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

Clause 56.—This clause provides that the President and every other member of the National Commission appointed immediately before the commencement of section 177 of the Finance Act, 2017, shall continue to be governed by the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and the rules made thereunder as if this Act had not come into force.

Clause 57.—This clause makes provision for the Central Government to provide the National Commission such number of officers and other employees to assist the National Commission in the discharge of its functions and prescribing the salaries and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the National Commission.

Clause 58.—This clause provides for the original and appellate jurisdiction for filing of complaints in the National Commission. The pecuniary jurisdiction will be for value of goods and services exceeding ten crore rupees.

Clause 59.—This clause provides that the provisions relating to complaints under clauses 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 shall, with such modifications as may be necessary, be applicable to the disposal of disputes by the National Commission. Sub-clause (2) provides that the National Commission may also declare any terms of contract which is unfair to any consumer to be null and void.

Clause 60.—This clause provides for the National Commission to review its own orders if there is an error apparent on the face of the record.

Clause 61.—This clause provides for the aggrieved party applying to the National Commission setting aside its order passed ex-parte.

Clause 62.—This clause empowers the National Commission, at any stage of the proceeding, either on the application of the complainant or of its own motion to transfer any complaint pending before the District Commission of one State to a District Commission of another State or before one State Commission to another State Commission.

Clause 63.—This clause provides that in the case of the position of President in the National Commission is vacant or a person occupying such office is, by reason of absence or otherwise, or the President is unable to perform the duties for any reasons, these shall be performed by the senior-most member of the National Commission.

Clause 64.— This clause provides that no act or proceeding of the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy amongst its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.

Clause 65.—This clause provides for the procedure for service of notice, etc.

Clause 66.—This clause provides that in the larger interest of consumers, the National Commission or the State Commission may direct any individual or organization or expert to assist the National Commission or the State Commission.

Clause 67.—This clause provides for appeal against the order of the National Commission to the Supreme Court; appeal to the Supreme Court only after the appellant has deposited fifty per cent. of the amount ordered by National Commission to be paid in the manner as may be prescribed, etc.

Clause 68. —This clause provides that every order of a District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall, if no appeal has been preferred against such order under the provisions of this Act, be final.

Clause 69. —This clause provides for a limitation period of two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen for filing a complaint before the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission with further provision that a complaint may be entertained after the limitation period if the complainant satisfies that he had sufficient cause for not filing the complaint within such period. This clause also provides that no such complaint shall be entertained unless the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, records its reasons for condoning such delay.

Clause 70. —Sub-clause (1) of this clause provides the administrative control of the National Commission over all the State Commissions and the District Commissions to ensure that the objects and purposes of the Act are best served and the standards set by the National Commission are implemented without interfering with their quasi-judicial freedom. In exercising administrative control, the National Commission will have authority to lay down adequate standards in consultation with the Central Government from time to time for better protection of the interests of consumers; to monitor performance of the State Commission in terms of their disposal by calling for periodical returns regarding the institution, disposal and pendency of cases; investigating into any allegations against the President and Members of a State Commission and submitting inquiry report to the State Government concerned along with copy endorsed to the Central Government for necessary action; issuance of instructions regarding adoption of uniform procedure in the hearing of matters, prior service of copies of documents produced by one party to the opposite parties, furnishing of English translation of judgments written in any language, speedy grant of copies of documents; overseeing the functioning of the State Commission or the District Commission either by way of inspection or by any other means the President may like to order from time to time .

Sub-clause (2) provides for constitution of a monitoring cell by the President of the National Commission to oversee the functioning of the State Commissions from the administrative point of view.

Sub-clause (3) provides for the State Commission to have administrative control over all the District Commissions within its jurisdiction in all matters referred to in sub-clauses (1) and (2).

Sub-clause (4) provides for furnishing of any information including the pendency of cases by the National Commission and the State Commission to the Central Government periodically or as and when required.

Sub-clause (5) provides for furnishing of any information including the pendency of cases by the State Commission to the State Government periodically or as and when required.

Clause 71.—This clause provides for enforcement of orders of District Commission, State Commission or National Commission to be in the same manner as if it were a decree made by a Court in a suit before it and the provisions of Order XXI of the First Schedule to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 shall, as far as may be, applicable, subject to the modification that every reference therein to the decree shall be construed as reference to the order made under this Act.

Clause 72.—-This clause provides for punishment for non-compliance of the orders of the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one month, but which may extend to three years, or with fine, which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees, but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both; the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission to have the power of a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class for the trial of offences under sub-clause (1), and on conferment of such powers, the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be a Judicial Magistrate of First Class for the purpose of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Sub-clause (3) provides summary trial power to the District Commission or the State Commission or National Commission.

Clause 73.— This clause provide for appeal against order passed under section 72. Sub-clause (2) provides no appeal shall lie before any court from any order of a District Commission or a State Commission or the National Commission. Sub-clause(3) provides thirty days time from the date of the order of a District Commission or a State Commission or the National Commission and also provides to condone delay by State Commission or the National Commission or the Supreme Court for entertaining the appeal beyond the thirty days if it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the said period of thirty days.

Clause 74.—This clause provides for establishment of Consumer Mediation Cell attached to the District Commissions, State Commissions and the National Commission and each of the regional benches; Sub-clause (3) empowers the State Government and the Central Government to decide the composition of mediation cell; sub-clause (4) provides that every mediation cell shall maintain a list of empanelled mediators, a list of cases handled by the cell, record of proceeding and any other information as may be specified by regulations and submit a quarterly report to the District Commission, State Commission or the National Commission to which it is attached in the manner specified by regulations.

Clause 75.—This clause provides for the procedure of empanelment of mediators in the mediation cell attached to the District Commission or State Commission or National Commission and empaneled mediators shall be valid for five years and eligible to be considered for another term subject to such conditions as may be specified by regulations.

Clause 76.—This clause provides for nominating mediators from the panel, considering their suitability for resolving the consumer dispute involved.

Clause 77.—This clause provides that it shall be the duty of mediator to disclose certain facts which may likely to give rise to a justifiable doubt as to his independence or impartiality.

Clause 78.—This clause provides for replacement of a mediator by the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission on the information furnished by the mediator or on the information received from any other person including parties to the complaint and after hearing the mediator.

Clause 79.—This clause provides for the procedure of mediation.

Clause 80.— This clause provides for provisions relating to settlement through mediation and the role of mediator when an agreement is reached between the parties with respect to all of the issues involved in the consumer dispute or with respect to only some of the issues, and in the event where no agreement is reached between the parties.

Clause 81.—This clause provides for passing of order within seven days of the receipt of any settlement by the District Commission, State Commission or National Commission recording that a settlement has been reached between the parties and disposal of the matter; hearing other issues in case of partial settlement of the dispute; continuing hearing all issues where the dispute could not be settled.

Clause 82.— This clause provides for product liability action by a complainant for any harm caused by a defective product manufactured by a product manufacturer or serviced by a product service provider or sold by a product seller.

Clause 83.— This clause states that a product liability action may be brought by a complainant against a product manufacturer or a product service provider or a product seller, as the case may be, for any harm caused to him on account of a defective product.

Clause 84.—This clause provides for the grounds on which a product manufacturer shall be liable in a product liability action.

Clause 85.—This clause provides for the grounds on which a product service provider shall be liable in a product liability action.

Clause 86.—This clause provides for the circumstances under which a product seller who is not a product manufacturer shall be liable in a product liability action.

Clause 87.—This clause provides for exceptions to product liability action against product seller and manufacturer.

Clause 88.—This clause provides for the penalty for non-compliance of direction of Central Authority issued under clause 21.

Clause 89.—This clause provides for punishment by a Court for false or misleading advertisement by any manufacturer or service provider with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees; and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to fifty lakh rupees.

Clause 90.— This clause provides for higher punishment with imprisonment and fine by a Court to a person who, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any product containing an adulterant, with provision for suspension and cancelation of licence issued to the person.

Clause 91.—This clause provides for graded punishment with imprisonment and fine by a Court to a person who, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any spurious goods, with provision for suspension and cancellation of license issued to the person.

Clause 92.—This clause provides for a competent court to take cognizance of any offence under clauses 88 and 89 only on a complaint filed by the Central Authority or any officer authorized by it in this behalf.

Clause 93.—This clause provides for punishment for vexatious search by the Director General or any other officer, exercising powers under clause 26, knowingly that there are no reasonable grounds for so doing and yet searches, or causes to be searched any premises or seizes any record, register or other document or article, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

Clause 94.—This clause empowers the Central Government to take such measures in the manner as may be prescribed for the purposes of preventing unfair trade practices in e-commerce, direct selling and also to protect the interest and rights of consumers.

Clause 95.— This clause provides that the Presidents, members, officers and other employees of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission, the Chief Commissioner and all other officers and employees of the Central Authority and other persons performing any duty under the proposed legislation, shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.

Clause 96.— This clause provides for compounding of offences punishable under sections 88 and 89 by the Central Authority either before or after the institution of the prosecution on payment of such amount as may be prescribed.

Clause 97.— This clause provides for the manner of crediting penalty under collected under clause 21 and the amount collected under clause 96.

Clause 98.—This clause makes provision for protection of action taken in good faith by the members of the District Commission, the State Commission or the National Commission or the Chief Commissioner, the Commissioner, any officer or employee and other person performing any duty under the proposed legislation.

Clause 99.— This clause empowers the Central Government to give directions on questions of policy to the Central Authority.

Clause 100.—This clause provides that the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.

Clause 101.—This clause provides for the power to the Central Government to make rules.

Clause 102.—This clause provides for the power to the State Governments, to make rules, conforming to the model rules made by the Central Government.

Clause 103.—This clause empowers the National Commission to make regulations not inconsistent with the proposed legislation to provide for all matters for which provision is necessary or expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the proposed legislation, with previous approval of the Central Government.

Clause 104.—This clause empowers the Central Authority to make regulations consistent with this Act, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act, with the previous approval of the Central Government.

Clause 105.—This clause provides for laying of every rule and every regulation made by the Central Government, the National Commission and the Central Authority under the proposed legislation before each House of Parliament and also every rule made by a State Government before the State Legislature.

Clause 106.—This clause provides for the power to remove difficulties that may arise in giving effect to the provisions of the proposed legislation.

Clause 107.—This clause provides for repeal and savings.

FINANCIAL MEMORANDUM

Clause 10 seeks to establish an authority to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (Central Authority) to be headed by a Chief Commissioner and such number of other Commissioners to exercise powers and discharge functions under the proposed legislation.

2. Clause 11 provides for making rules by the Central Government in regard to the qualifications for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of the service of the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners of the Central Authority.

3. Clause 13 provides that the Central Government shall provide the Central Authority such number of officers and other employees as it considers necessary for the efficient performance of its functions and the salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the Central Authority. It also provides that the Central Authority may engage, in accordance with the procedure specified by regulations, such number of experts and professionals as it deems necessary to assist it in the discharge of its functions.

4. Clause 15 provides that the Central Authority shall have an Investigation Wing for the purpose of conducting inquiry or investigation and may appoint a Director-General and such number of Additional Director-General, Director, Joint Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Director.

5. Clause 30 provides for the salaries and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the President and members of District Commission to be prescribed by the State Government.

6. Clause 33 provides that the State Government shall provide the District Commission such officers and other employees to assist the District Commission in the discharge of its functions and the salaries and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the District Commission shall be prescribed by the State Government.

7. Clause 44 provides for the salaries and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the President and members of the State Commissions to be prescribed by the State Government.

8. Clause 46 provides that the State Government shall provide the State Commission such officers and other employees to assist the State Commission in the discharge of its functions and the salaries and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the State Commission shall be prescribed by the State Government.

9. Clause 55 provides that the Central Government may, by notification, make rules to provide for qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of service of the President and members of the National Commission.

10. Sub-clause (1) of clause 57 provides that the Central Government, in consultation with the President of the National Commission shall provide such number of officers and other employees to assist the National Commission in discharge of its functions as it may think fit. Sub-clause (3) provides that the salaries and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of the service of, the officers and other employees of the National Commission shall be as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

11. Sub-clause (2) of clause 70 seeks to set up a monitoring cell to be constituted by the President of the National Commission to oversee the functioning of the State Commissions from the administrative point of view.

12. Sub-clause (1) of clause 74 provides that the State Government shall establish a consumer mediation cell to be attached to each of the District Commissions and the State Commissions of that State. Sub-clause (2) provides that the Central Government shall establish a consumer mediation cell to be attached to the National Commission. Sub-clause (3) provides that a consumer mediation cell shall consist of such persons as may be prescribed.

13. The financial implications arising from the establishment of the proposed Central Consumer Protection Authority is estimated at an annual recurring expenditure of eight hundred lakhs to cover operating costs including salaries and allowances. Appropriate Budgetary allocations shall be made to meet this expenditure from the annual budget of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

14. It would be difficult to indicate the exact expenditure involved in the appointment of additional members and officers and employees of the District Commission and the State Commission as this would depend upon the actual number of such members or officers and other employees appointed by the State Governments. However, the expenditure on this account would be incurred by the State Governments. The Bill does not envisage any other expenditure of recurring or non-recurring.

MEMORANDUM REGARDING DELEGATED LEGISLATION

Sub-clause (1) of clause 101 of the Bill empowers the Central Government to make, by notification in the Official Gazette, rules for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the proposed legislation. Sub-clause (2) specifies the matters in respect of which such rules may be made. These matters, inter alia, include—(a) the other class or classes of persons including public utility entities under sub-clause (19) of clause 2; (b) the contest, lottery, game of chance or skill which are to be exempted under sub-item (b) of item (iii) of sub-clause (47) of clause 2; (c ) the manner of issuing bill or cash memo or receipt for goods sold or services rendered under item (vii) of sub-clause (47) of clause 2; (d) the number of other official or non-official members of the Central Council under item (b) of sub-clause (2) of clause 3; (e ) the time and place of meeting of Central Council and the procedure for the transaction of its business under sub-clause (2) of clause 4; (f) the number of Commissioners in the Central Authority under sub-clause (2) of clause10; (g) the qualifications for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Commissioner and other Commissioners of the Central Authority under clause 11; (h) the salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of Central Authority under sub-clause (2) of clause 13; (i) the qualifications for appointment of Director General, Additional Director General, Director, Joint Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Director and the manner of appointment under sub-clause (2) of clause 15; (j) the manner of taking copies or extracts of document, record or article seized or produced before returning to the person under sub-clause (3) of clause 22; (k) the officer and the manner of disposing of articles which are subject to speedy or natural decay under sub-clause (4) of clause 22; (l) the form and manner for preparing annual statement of accounts by Central Authority in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India under sub-clause (1) of clause 26; (m) the form in which, and the time within which, an annual report, other reports and returns may be prepared by the Central Authority under sub-clause (1) of clause 27; (n) the qualifications for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, resignation and removal of President and members of the District Commission under clause 29; (o) the other value of goods and services in respect of which the District Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints under proviso to sub-clause (1) of clause 34; (p) the manner of electronically filing complaint under the proviso to sub-clause (1) of clause 35; (q) the fee, electronic form and the manner of payment of fee for filing complaint under sub-clause (2) of clause 35; (r) the cases which may not be referred for settlement by mediation under sub-clause (1) of clause 37; (s) the manner of authentication of goods sampled in case of National Commission under item (c) of sub-clause (2) of clause 38; (t) any other matter which may be prescribed under item (f) of sub-clause (9) of clause 38; (u) the fund where the amount obtained may be credited and the manner of utilization of such amount under sub-clause (2) of clause 39; (v) the form and the manner in which appeal may be preferred to the State Commission under clause 41; (w) the qualifications for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure of appointment, term of office, resignation and removal of the President and members of the State Commission under clause 43; (x) the other value of goods and services in respect of which the State Commission shall have jurisdiction under proviso to sub-item (i) of item (a) of sub-clause (1) of clause 47; (y) the form and manner of filing appeal to the National Commission, and the manner of depositing fifty per cent. of the amount before filing appeal, under sub-clause (1) of clause 51; (z) the number of members of the National Commission under item (b) of clause 54; (za) the qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of service of President and members of the National Commission under sub-clause (1) of clause 55; (zb) the salaries and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the National Commission under sub-clause (3) of clause 57; (zc) the other value of goods and services in respect of which the National Commission shall have jurisdiction under proviso to sub-item (i) of item (a) of sub-clause (1) of clause 58; (zd) the manner of depositing fifty per cent. of the amount under second proviso to clause 67; (ze) the form in which the National Commission and the State Commission shall furnish information to the Central Government under sub-clause (4) of clause 70; (zf) the persons in the consumer mediation cell under sub-clause (3) of clause 74; (zg) the measures to be taken by the Central Government to prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce, direct selling, etc., under clause 94; (zh) the amount for compounding offences under sub-clause (1) of clause 96; (zi) the fund to which the penalty and amount collected shall be credited under clause 97; and (zj) any other matter which is to be, or may be prescribed, or in respect of which provisions are to be, or may be, made by rules.

2. Sub-clause (1) of clause 102 of the Bill empowers the State Government to make, by notification in the Official Gazette, rules for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the proposed legislation. Sub-clause (2) specifies the matters in respect of which such rules may be made. These matters, inter alia, include— (a) the other class or classes of persons including public utility entities under sub-clause (19) of clause 2; (b) the contest, lottery, game of chance or skill which are to be exempted under sub-item (b) of item (iii) of sub-clause (47) of clause 2; (c ) the number of other official or non-official members of the State Council under item (b) of sub-clause (2) of clause 6; (d) the time and place of meeting of the State Council and the procedure for the transaction of its business under sub-clause (4) of clause 6; (e ) the number of other official and non-official members of District Council under item (b) of sub-clause (2) of clause 8; (f) the time and place of meeting of the District Council and procedure for the transaction of its business under sub-clause (4) of clause 8; (g) the number of members of the District Commission under item (b) of sub-clause (2) of clause 28; (h) the salaries and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the President and members of the District Commission under clause 30; (i) the salaries and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the District Commission under sub-clause (3) of clause 33; (j) the manner of authentication of goods sampled by the State Commission and the District Commission under item (c) of sub-clause (2) of clause 38; (k ) the manner of depositing fifty per cent. of the amount before filing appeal under the second proviso to clause 41; (l) the number of members of the State Commission under sub-clause (3) of clause 42; (m) the salary and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the President and members of the State Commission under clause 44; (n) the salaries and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the officers and other employees of the State Commission under sub-clause (3) of clause 46; (o) the form in which the State Commission shall furnish information to the State Government under sub-clause (5) of clause 70; (p) the persons in the consumer mediation cell under sub-clause (3) of clause 74; (q) any other matter which is to be, or may be prescribed, or in respect of which provisions are to be, or may be, made by rules.

3. Sub-clause (1) of clause 103 of the Bill empowers the National Commission, with the previous approval of the Central Government, to make regulations not inconsistent with the proposed legislation to provide for all the matters for which provision is necessary or expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the proposed legislation. Sub-clause (2) provides that the regulations may make provisions for — (a) the costs for adjournment to be imposed by the District Commission under the second proviso to sub-clause (7) of clause 38; (b) the costs for adjournment to be imposed by the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, under the second proviso to clause 52; (c ) the maintenance of any other information by the consumer mediation cell under sub-clause (4) of clause 74; (d) the manner of submission of quarterly report by consumer mediation cell to District Commission, State Commission or the National Commission under sub-clause (5) of clause 74; (e) the qualifications and experience required for empanelment as mediator, the procedure for empanelment, the manner of training empaneled mediators, the fee payable to empaneled mediator, the terms and conditions for empanelment, the code of conduct for empaneled mediators, the grounds on which, and the manner in which, empaneled mediators shall be removed or empanelment shall be cancelled and the other matters relating thereto under sub-clause (2) of clause 75; (f) the conditions for re- empanelment of mediators for another term under sub-clause (3) of clause 75; (g) the other facts to be disclosed by mediators under sub- clause (c) of clause 77; (h) the time within which, and the manner in which, mediation may be conducted under sub-clause (3) of clause 79; and (i) such other matter for which provision is to be, or may be made by regulation.

4. Sub-clause (1) of Clause 104 of the Bill empowers the Central Authority, with the previous approval of the Central Government, to make regulations not inconsistent with the proposed legislation, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this legislation. Sub-clause (2) provides that the regulations may make provisions for – (a) the procedure for engaging experts and professionals and the number of such experts and professionals under sub-clause (3) of clause 13; (b) the procedure for transaction of business and the allocation of business of the Chief Commissioner and Commissioner under sub-clause (1) of clause 14; (c) the form, manner and time within which, inquiries or investigation made by the Director General shall be submitted to the Central Authority under sub-clause (5) of clause 15; and (d) such other matter for which provision is to be, or may be made by regulation.

5. The matters in respect of which rules and regulations may be made relate to matters of procedure or administrative details and it is not practicable to provide for them in the Bill itself. The delegation of legislative power is, therefore, of a normal character.

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