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New Consumer Protection Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

Modified version  


A new Consumer Protection Bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. It seeks to set up an authority to safeguard consumer rights in view of current challenges posed by e-commerce, direct selling, tele-marketing and misleading advertisements.

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 has strong provisions to check adulteration and misleading advts. It provides for a fine of up to Rs. 50 lakh and jail up to 5 years for manufacturers and service providers for false and misleading advts. Against adulteration, the Bill has provisions for fine up to Rs. 10 lakh and life term imprisonment. The government has brought a new bill as there have been many amendments made to the bill that was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2015.

Hope for consumers

Hotels can charge more than MRP for mineral water

Apex court verdict

The Supreme Court has said that hotels and restaurants can charge their customers more than the maximum retail price (MRP) marked on a bottle of mineral water. It has rejected the Centre’s stand that selling bottled mineral water or other pre-packaged products above the MRP will attract monetary penalty and jail term.

The apex court said that when hotels or restaurants serve food and drinks they render a service and MRP rates cannot be insisted on for these entities. The court ruled in favour of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India which had filed a special leave petition against the Central government.

Common man hit 

Firms may be liable for defective drugs, devices

Onus on pharma firms

The government is contemplating changes in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, to make pharma firms liable to pay compensation for injuries and damage caused to consumers by their drugs and medical devices. Under the existing law, companies pay compensation only in case something goes wrong during a clinical trial.

The Central Drug Standards Control Organization (CDSCO), the national regulatory body for Indian pharmaceutical and medical device makers, has proposed changes in the existing law. The proposal is the result of investigations by an expert committee into hip implants manufactured by a Johnson and Johnson subsidiary. Some patients had to undergo revision surgeries because of the allegedly defective design of the product.

Some cheer for patients


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