Celebrities, manufacturers and service providers may be fined up to Rs 10 lakh and even face a jail term of two years for false or misleading advertisement.
Celebrities, manufacturers and service providers may be fined up to Rs 10 lakh and even face a jail term of two years for false or misleading advertisement. A misleading ad is defined as promotions across platforms that wrongly describes a product or service or gives a false guarantee, according to the terms of Consumer Protection Bill 2019 passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday. It may also mislead the customers on the nature, substance, quantity or quality of a product or service or deliberately conceal important information. Even as strict action has been proposed against the advertiser for false advertisements, no action has been proposed in the bill against the media that publicises the advertisement.
The bill also provides for a liability action owing to harm caused to the consumers on account of faulty items or deficient services. A Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has also been proposed under the bill apart from the consumer courts at the district level so as to promote, protect and enforce the consumer rights.
The Consumer Protection Bill, which provides for a mechanism to ease customer complaints with respect to defects in goods and deficiency in services, also seeks to bring e-commerce sector under its purview. The bill aims to establish an authority for timely settlement of disputes related to the consumers.
The Consumer Protection Bill 2019 was passed in the lower house replacing the earlier Consumer Protection Act 1986. The bill was earlier passed in the Lok Sabha in 2018, but didn’t see successful passage in Rajya Sabha. It lapsed after the Lok Sabha was dissolved for Lok Sabha elections 2019.