New Delhi : In a bid to crack down on false and misleading advertisements, the consumer affairs ministry is considering filing cases against such advertisers.
In the last three months, the ministry has received 114 complaints against Misleading ads and many of them relate to the health and education sector. “We have launched a portal where consumers can lodge complaints against Misleading ads . We are compiling details and these cases will be investigated. Since in most cases misleading advertisements impact huge section of society, we will file cases on behalf of consumers seeking compensation for the damage caused,” a ministry official said.
According to data compiled by the consumer affairs department, misleading complaints also relate to financial services, food and real estate sectors. Officials said the present mechanism will be followed till the Central Consumer Protection Authority is established, which has been provisioned in the amendments to the Consumer Protection Act.
The proposed law empowers the authority to inquire into unfair trade practices and any false or misleading ads , which it can take up on its own or when it receives a complaint. “The authority can order discontinue or no repetition of such advertisements,” a source said.
There is also provision for fine and even criminal action against offenders. Taking serious note of cases relating to food items, the bill proposes penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh where a person publishes or is a party to the publication of advertisement that falsely describes any food or gives false guarantee.