Consumer Protection Act, 2019

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 replaced the 1986 Act.

    Six “consumer rights” in the new Act:

    • The right to be protected against the marketing.
    • The right to be informed about goods to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.
    • The right to assured access to a variety of goods or products at competitive prices.
    • The right to be heard.
    • The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practice.
    • The right to consumer awareness.

     

Key Provisions:

  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): It will be assisted by a Director-General of Investigation.
  • Simplification of consumer dispute adjudication process
  • State and District Commissions are empowered to review their own orders
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism: No appeal against settlement through mediation.
  • Concept of product liability Introduced: A manufacturer or seller to be responsible to compensate for injury or damage to the product.
  • Punishment for adulterant or spurious goods, and even cancel the license.
  • The amount due to unidentifiable consumers to be credited to the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF).
  • A Central Consumer Protection Council as an advisory body headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • Regarding E-commerce entities:
    • These are required to provide information on the return, refund, exchange, warranty, etc. including country of origin.
    • They have to acknowledge any complaint within 48 hours.
    • They need to redress the complaint within one month.
    • They need to appoint a grievance redressal officer.
    • Sellers cannot refuse to take back goods or withdraw services if such goods or services are defective, deficient, etc.
    • E-commerce companies are prohibited from manipulating the price to gain unreasonable profit.
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Mission Karmayogi

  • National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB)

    • To make Indian Civil Servant more creative, constructive, professional, progressive, technology-enabled, etc.
    • It will cover around 50 lakh, Central employees.
    • The transition from Rules-based to Roles based on Human Resource management.
    • Emphasize on ‘on-site learning’: to complement the ‘off-site’ learning.
    • Calibrate all Civil Service positions to a Framework of Roles, Activities, and Competencies approach.
    • Partner with the best-in-class content creators, like public training institutions, universities, etc.
    • Civil servants to continuously strengthen their Behavioral, Functional, and Domain Competencies.
    • iGOT Platform: Integrated Government Online Training.

     

Ranbir Singh committee on Criminal Law Reform

    • Constituted by Ministry of Home Affairs is looking at a sweeping overhaul of criminal laws.

    Objectives: to revise

    • Indian penal code (IPC), 1860: It defines offenses and specifies their respective punishments.
    • Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973: establishes the machinery for implementation of the IPC and lays down the procedures.
    • Indian Evidence Act, 1872: elaborates on the rules of taking evidence in order to prove the guilt or innocence of an alleged offender.

     

     

Expert Bodies on Police and Criminal Law Reform

  • National Police Commission 1977-81
  • Ribeiro Committee 1988
  • Padmanabhaiah Committee 2000
  • Malimath Committee 2002-03
  • Prakash Singh vs Union of India case, 2006
  • II ARC, 2007
  • Police Act Drafting Committee II 2015

 

Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020

  • It amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
  • Objective: to protect healthcare personnel and property, including their living or working premises against violence during epidemics.
  • The burden of proof for the offense falls on the guilty.
  • These offenses are cognizable and non-bailable.
  • The trial should be concluded within one year.

Aadhaar Authentication Rules, 2020

Till now, the government allowed Aadhaar for social welfare benefits under some programmes. Eg. For PDS System.

          • New rules to expand the scope of Aadhar for agriculture, education and health schemes, etc.
          • The central government may allow Aadhaar authentication for:
            • Use of digital platforms to ensure good governance.
            • Prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits.
            • Enablement of innovation and spread of knowledge.
          • For authentication services, government departments will have to seek approval of UIDAI.
          • UIDAI is a statutory body to manage Aadhaar and runs Aadhaar-based services.
          • Only the government agencies would be allowed to use Aadhaar authentication services, not any private entity.
            • This is in line with the 2016 Supreme Court judgment.
            • Aadhaar (Amendment) Act, 2019 seeks to effectively allow private entities access to Aadhaar-based authentication. That was challenged in the Supreme Court.

Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, 2020

Notified by Department of Personnel and Training under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

Key Features

  • Complaint against a sitting or former PM: shall be decided at the admission stage, by a full bench.
  • Approved by two-third the inquiry.
  • If the bench dismisses complaints at the admission state, its records will not be made public.
  • No complaints can be filed against a public servant under the Army Act, the Air Force Act, Navy Act, & Coast Guard Act. 
  • The complaint must provide identity proof.
  • Foreign nationals can also lodge complaints.
  • Identity of the complainant or accused official to be protected.
  • Punishment for false and frivolous complaints.
  • Complaint language: any language of the Eighth Schedule, apart from English.
  • Complain filing mode: electronically, by post, or in person.