Consumer Act to get penalty power

Delay in complying with the orders of consumer courts could invite a fine of Rs 500,or 1.5% of the the penalty.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published:January 4, 2012 4:20 pm

Delay in complying with the orders of consumer courts could invite a fine of Rs 500,or 1.5 per cent of the amount of the penalty,as the government is planning to amend the consumer act.

The provision is among several amendments proposed in the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill,2011,which was introduced by the government in Lok Sabha on December 16 last. This modification (imposition of monetary penalty) is considered essential in view of experiences gained during implementation of the Act and is intended to deter willful offenders,an official statement said here today. Another amendment aims at making provision for online filing of complaint.

Since the consumer forums are being computerised it is proposed to make provision in the law to permit consumers to file complaints as well as pay fee online,which would make the consumer for a move towards e-governance/ time bound redressal,the statement added.

In accordance with the Consumer Protection Act,1986,consumer disputes redressal agencies have been set up at the 629 districts,35 state and national levels to render simple,inexpensive and speedy justice to consumers. The proposed changes in the Act includes making provision that an order of the District Forum/State Commission/ National Commission will be enforced as a decree of a Civil Court.

This modification is considered essential in view of the experiences gained during implementation of the Act and is intended to deter willful offenders and also to ensure speedy and proper execution of the order of the consumer forums,the statement added.

It also has provision for increasing the minimum age for appointment as member in the case of state commissions from 35 to 45 years,and in case of national commission from 35 to 55 years,the statement said adding this is proposed to improve the quality of persons applying for these posts.

Besides,it also proposes to increase the period of experience for appointment as member in the case of State Commission from 10 years to 20 years and in the case of National Commission from 10 years to 30 years. This is proposed in order to improve the quality of persons applying for these posts,the statement said.

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