In an official statement on Friday, The Central Consumer Protection Authority or CCPA has, Suo-moto, issued show-cause notices to different companies for misguiding and misleading advertisements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution conveyed that the CCPA has been taking bold action for protecting the rights and interests of the consumers. One of the functions of the CCPA envisaged in the Act is to analyze affairs relating to, and the factors obstructing the enjoyment of consumer rights, including safeguards provided for the protection of consumers under any other law in force, and recommend appropriate remedial actions for their effective execution. Noticing 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 paints, floor cleaner, disinfectant, water purifier, apparel, furniture, etc., said the statement.
According to the ministry, the action of CCPA will deter unethical businessmen from launching deceptive ads to take advantage of consumers about the cheap commercial profits. The ministry also said that a notice was also given to cab aggregators for the use of unfair trade practices concerning the repayment of the excess fare charged. The CCPA will continue to work towards protecting the rights & interests of the consumers. The CCPA has recently taken up the matter of failed/canceled transactions based on the analysis of the consumer complaints received in the National Consumer Helpline, by using inter-banking services by consumers such as IMPS, UPI, etc. where money has not been reimbursed to the consumer or where the timeline for settlement of such claims has not been fulfilled, with the sector regulator, the Reserve Bank of India to protect the rights of the consumers, said the statement.
The CCPA has also requested the Insurance Regulator, IRDAI, to investigate the delay in receiving the consumer claim amount and take up the consumer complaints with the insurance companies to comply with the timelines set out in the 2017 IRDAI Protection of Policyholders’ Interest Regulations. In compliance with section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, The Central Consumer Protection Authority was set up w.e.f. 24 July 2020 to govern matters relating to unfair trade practices, consumer rights violation, and false or misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers and to protect, promote, and enforce consumer rights as a class. investigations can be conducted by it into consumer rights violations and launch complaints/ prosecution, order recalls of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuation of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, enforce penalties for misleading advertising manufacturers/endorsers/publishers.