In a Notification dated 21st November, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (“Ministry”) has issued the Draft Consumer Protection (Mediation) Regulations, 2019 (“Regulations”) pursuant to the Consumer Protection (Mediation) Rules, 2019 which were issued by the Ministry on under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
The Ministry invites comments and suggestions on the Regulations which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Deputy Secretary (CPU), Department of Consumer Affairs, Room No. 461, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi-110001 by 13th December, 2019 after which the Regulations will be taken into consideration.
Some key takeaways from the Regulations are enumerated below:
- The Regulations deal with the mediation procedure which can be undertaken by the parties in case of settlement of dispute.
- When the Commission feels that the dispute between the parties can be resolved through settlement, it can refer the same to mediation.
- Also, any party willing to settle the disputes by mediation can also do so by sending a written request to the District Commission or the State Commission or the National Commission, (as the case may be) in Form 2 along with a fee of Rs.500.
- Parties may agree to appoint a mediator. If the parties cannot agree, it will be duty of the Commission to appoint the mediator for the purpose of settlement of disputes.
- Parties to a mediation can be represented through a legal representative or they can choose to represent themselves personally.
- It is the duty of the parties to maintain confidentiality in respect of events that transpired during the mediation and shall not rely on or introduce the said information in other proceedings.
- If an agreement is reached between the parties in regard to all the issues in the suit or proceeding or some of the issues, the same should be reduced to writing and signed by the parties or their authorized representative and submit the same to the mediator.
- Lays down the qualification, disqualification, training and empanelment of mediators.
Please note that all expenses towards mediation including the fee of the mediator, costs of administrative assistance, and other ancillary expenses concerned, will be borne by the respective States/UTs.
However, each party will bear the costs for production of witnesses on his side including experts, or for production of documents.