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Consumer Protection Bill-2015 needs revision: IIM research

Consumer Protection

Ahmedabad :  As the Centre has placed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 in the Parliament to replace the three-decade-old consumer protection law, a research paper on the Bill by Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) stated that it needs a ‘detailed revision’.

In the research paper, professor Akhileshwar Pathak of IIM-A critically analysed the Consumer Protection Bill-2015, and suggested that it should be rested on foundation of contract law and law of sale of goods.

The paper titled ‘The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015: (Lack of) Rights of the Consumer to Terminate Sale Contract’, stated that the law should have a specific provision for termination of contract from buyer’s side.

Consumer protection law should rest on the foundations of contract law and the law of sale of goods. A new consumer bill has to conceptually express this foundation and the modifications it is bringing about in these laws, it said.

“Without this, the law (of consumer protection) would become unclear, conflicting and confusing. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 is not secured in its foundation and needs revision,” the findings of the research paper showed.

It said that a rational basis for a consumer law is that a consumer has certain rights and a consumer can approach a court or a forum for the enforcement of the right. This very basic organising principle was not followed in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which has been copied in the 2015 bill.

“The rational and logical way of organising the law is to mention the rights of a consumer. A consumer could approach a consumer council for the redressal of the rights,” it said.

“The bill does not mention the rights of a consumer. Under the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, buyer has certain rights to terminate the contract,” it added.

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