The Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry Of Consumer Affairs, Food And Public Distribution on vide notification no. G.S.R. 447(E). has notified the Consumer Protection (Central Consumer Protection Council) Rules, 2020 which have come in force from 20th July 2020.
What is the Central Consumer Protection Council ?
The Central Consumer Protection Council is an advisory council made under Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. It has been provided that it shall meet as and when necessary, but at least one meeting of the Council shall be held every year. Its object is to render advice on promotion and protection of the consumers’ rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
Composition of the Central Consumer Protection Council
The upper-limit of members has been fixed at 36 which consist of:
- the Minister in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government who shall be the Chairperson of the Central Council;
- the Minister of State (where he is not holding independent charge) or Deputy Minister in charge of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government who shall be the Vice-Chairperson of the Central Council;
- the Minister in-charge of Consumer Affairs of two of the States from each region to be changed by rotation on expiration of the term of the Central Council on each occasion;
- an administrator (whether designated as administrator or Lieutenant Governor) of a Union territory, to represent that Union territory, to be changed by rotation on expiration of the term of the Central Council on each occasion;
- two Members of Parliament—one from the Lok Sabha and one from the Rajya Sabha;
- representatives of Departments of the Central Government, autonomous organisations or regulators concerned with consumer interests, not exceeding five to be nominated by the Central Government;
- the Chief Commissioner of the Central Consumer Protection Authority;
- the Registrar, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi;
- representatives of consumer organisations not exceeding five, to be nominated by the Central Government;
- representatives with proven expertise and experience who are capable of representing consumer interests, drawn from amongst consumer organisations, consumer activists, research and training organisations, academicians, farmers, trade or industry, not exceeding five, one from each of the regions specified in Schedule I, of whom at least one shall be a woman;
- the Secretaries in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the States, not exceeding three, to be nominated by the Central Government;
- the Secretary in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government shall be the Member-Secretary of the Central Council.
Term of Central Council
The term of the Central Council shall be three years, however, the Central Council shall continue to function for a further period of three months or
till it is reconstituted, whichever is earlier.
For the purposes of performing its functions under the Act, the Central Council may constitute from amongst its members, such working groups as it may deem necessary, and every working group so constituted shall perform such task as are assigned to it by the Central Council. The Central Council shall entrust to each working group clearly defined tasks which are specified through terms of reference, and which shall also include the time-period within which such task are to be completed. The working groups shall report to the Chairperson of the Central Council. The findings of each working group shall be placed before the Central Council for its consideration. The working group shall cease to function on the completion of the task for which it was constituted.
Meetings of Central Council for transaction of business
The meetings of the Central Council shall ordinarily be held in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, however, the Central Council may also hold its meetings at any other place in India, wherever in the opinion of the Chairperson, it is expedient so to do. The Chairperson, or in his absence, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside over the meetings of the Central Council. In the absence of both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, the meetings of the Central Council shall be presided over by a member of the Central Council elected for this purpose.
A meeting of the Central Council may be called with the approval of the Chairperson by issuing a notice in writing to every member at least fifteen days before the intended date of the meeting by post, or through e-mail to facilitate speedy communication. The notice of every meeting of the Central Council shall intimate the time, date, and place of the meeting and the items of agenda for the meeting.
Any business not included in the agenda shall not be transacted at a meeting of the Central Council except with the permission of the Chairperson, or the Vice-Chairperson, or the member presiding over the meeting, as the case may be.
The draft minutes of each meeting of the Central Council shall be prepared as soon as possible and not later than one week from the conclusion of each meeting and the same shall be submitted to the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson or to the member who presided over the meeting for his approval. The draft minutes of each meeting of the Central Council approved by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson or the member who presided over this meeting shall be forwarded to each member of the Central Council as soon as possible for adoption at the next meeting. However, it has also been provided that no proceedings of the Central Council shall be invalid merely by reasons of existence of any vacancy in or any defect in the constitution of the Central Council.
Eastern Region – to consist of the States of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.
Western Region – to consist of the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Northern Region – to consist of the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Southern Region – to consist of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
North Eastern Region – to consist of the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
The Union territories of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Copy of notification: G.S.R. 447(E).
-Adv. Tushar Kaushik