The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has, suo-moto, issued show-cause notices to various companies for misleading and misguiding advertisements during the Covid-19 pandemic, an official statement said on Friday.
The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said that the CCPA has been taking proactive action for protecting the interest and rights of consumers. One of the functions of the CCPA envisaged in the Act is to review matters relating to, and the factors inhibiting the enjoyment of, consumer rights, including safeguards provided for the protection of consumers under any other law in force and recommend appropriate remedial measures for their effective implementation.
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Observing that several advertisements are being issued during the COVID-19 pandemic to mislead and misguide the consumers relating to several consumer goods/products, the CCPA has, suo-moto, issued show-cause notices to companies in sectors like water purifier, paints, floor cleaner, apparel, disinfectant, furniture, etc, said the statement.
According to the Ministry, the CCPA's action will deter unscrupulous businessmen from launching misleading advertisements to exploit the sentiments of the consumers for cheap commercial profits. Notice has also been issued to Cab Aggregators for resorting to unfair trade practices with regard to refund of the excess fare charged. The CCPA will continue to work towards the protection of the interest and rights of the consumers, said the Ministry.
On analysis of the consumer grievances received in the National Consumer Helpline, the CCPA has recently taken up the matter of failed/canceled transactions while using inter-banking services by the consumers like IMPS, UPI, etc where money has not been refunded to the consumer or where the timeline for settlement of such claims has not been adhered to, with the sector regulator, the Reserve Bank of India with a view to protecting the rights of the consumers, said the statement.
The CCPA has also asked Insurance Regulator, IRDAI, to look into the delay in getting the claim amount by the consumers and take up the consumer grievances with the insurance companies to adhere to the timelines stipulated in the IRDAI Protection of Policyholders' Interest Regulations, 2017.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority was established w.e.f. 24 July 2020 under section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to regulate matters relating to the violation of rights of consumers, unfair trade practices, and false or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of public and consumers and to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.
It can conduct investigations into violation of consumer rights and institute complaints/ prosecution, order recalls of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuation of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements. (IANS)