New Delhi. All the doctors and health services in the country will also no longer be outside the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Recently, the Supreme Court had dismissed a Public Interest Litigation, upholding the decision of the Bombay High Court in this regard. It was said in the petition that despite the proposal to include it in the new Consumer Protection Act, health services have not been included. Therefore, it should be kept out of the purview of this law. But, now the Supreme Court has said that both doctors and health services are under the purview of this law. In such a situation, the question arises that after coming under the purview of this law, will the health systems of the country change? Who will crack down on doctors who rob patients? Also, what kind of punishment will be provided on the doctors who are negligent in treatment?
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli had said in the past that mere repeal of the 1986 Act by the 2019 Act would not exclude health care services provided by doctors to patients from the definition of the word ‘service’. . The petitioner’s contention was that consumer complaints cannot be filed against doctors under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The Bombay High Court dismissed this petition in October 2021.
The petitioner’s contention was that consumer complaints cannot be filed against doctors under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. (file photo)
Definition of word ‘service’ will also apply to health services- SC
It is worth noting that in the petition, the statement of the Union Minister was cited while presenting the bill. The then Consumer Affairs Minister Late Ram Vilas Paswan had given a statement that health services are not covered under the Bill. In such a situation, a two-judge bench in the Supreme Court said that the statement of the minister cannot limit the scope of the law.
Since when is the Consumer Protection Act-2019 implemented across the country?
The Consumer Protection Act-2019 is in force in the entire country from July 20, 2020. The new law has replaced the Consumer Protection Act 1986. Under the new law, customers and service recipients have got new rights for the first time. Now any type of consumer can file a case in any consumer courts of the country. There was no such provision in the earlier Consumer Protection Act 1986.
In the new law, action will also be taken for issuing misleading advertisements to consumers in any item related to the service. (File photo thanks ANI)
There are many types of penalties in the new law.
In the new law, action will also be taken for issuing misleading advertisements to consumers in any item related to the service. After the introduction of the new consumer law, consumer disputes will be resolved in a timely, effective and speedy manner. Under the new law, a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has been created along with consumer courts. This authority has been constituted to protect the interests of the consumer strictly.
The main objective of the Central Consumer Protection Authority will be to protect the rights of consumers. Along with this, cases related to unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and violation of consumer rights will also be looked into and disposed of at an expeditious pace. This authority will have the right to impose fines on those who spread misleading advertisements related to the service. This authority has the power to impose a sentence of imprisonment ranging from 2 years to 5 years, as well as fine up to Rs 50 lakh.
FIRST PUBLISHED : May 09, 2022, 16:41 IST