Consumer Protection Act – 2019 and Rule – 2020

From 20/07/2020 it is to be implemented by Notification in Gazette

After this news I have received almost 500 messages from different parts of India. A few were congratulating for removal of medical professionals from the ambit of CPA-2020 now on. I felt that rather than replying all individually I should put forward my stand in General so everybody can go through the same.

I have taken more than 100 lectures on CPA-2020 on different fora after 9th August – 2020 – The day on which CPA-2020 was notified in Gazette. I had put more than 100 medicolegal tips in last few months a few of which containing what is serious in CPA-2019.

Let me clarify my stand

Facts of the matter

1. Medical Professionals and Healthcare word was not there in CPA-1986

2. After decision of S.C. in V.P.Shantha vs IMA – It was held that medical professionals should be considered as service provider under CPA.

3. After that it was routine that cases against healthcare professionals were filed on regular basis.

4. In CPA-2018 bill Government added two words Telecom and Healthcare in the definition of service

5. After recommendation or request of a few bodies form CPA-2019 bill word healthcare was removed

6. CPA-2019 Act was notified in Gazette on 9th august – 2019.

7. CPA-Rules – 2020 are notified in Gazette on 15th July – 2020

8. CPA rules were declared to be implemented from 20th July

9. Doctors are celebrating that healthcare is now excluded from the ambit of CPA.

My Interpretation

1. Doctors were not there in CPA as per CPA-1986. Healthcare professionals were added in CPA after 1994 after judgment of S.C. i.e. IMA vs. V. P. Shantha.

2. Laws are made in Parliament and implemented and its interpretation is done by Courts.

3. Now old CPA Act -1986 is repealed by new CPA Act – 2019.

4. There are many changes and new provisions in the CPA-Act.

5. Section 2(19) of new CPA Act defines establishment in which healthcare establishments and establishment of professionals is included.

6. In definition of service althouth the word healthcare is not there but it was not there in CPA-1986 too.

7. As per our understanding Healthcare Professional cannot be kept out of ambit of CPA-2019 unless the decision of IMA vs. V. P. Shantha is overruled by Supreme Court larger bench.

8. As I have said laws are made in Parliament and interpreted and implemented by court, we will have to see how court interpret the same in due course.

9. If courts continue filing cases against healthcare professional under CPA then question arise that can we challenge the same or should we challenge?

10. The answer is YES. Our body must challenge the same.

11. There can be many grounds to challenge.

12. One of the main grounds should be – Government added word Healthcare in CPA-2018 bill and then they removed the word healthcare from the definition of service in CPA-2019 Act. This proves that the intention of Government is to keep healthcare professionals out of the ambit of CPA.

13. There are many such laws which need to be challenged. Many bills in pipeline which needs serious attention and must be challenged and properly dealt with at a proper time with proper body.

14. “UNITY IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR” otherwise all will “SINK”.

Geetendra Sharma

M. D. LL.B (Gold Medalist)

Candidate – V.P. – West Zone – FOGSI – 2020

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