Reconstitution of Consumer Commission, DCFs
STATE TIMES NEWSSRINAGAR: Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir High Court Srinagar Wing comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur took serious note of casual approach of Govt for constitution of Consumer Commission/District Consumer Forums, granted one last opportunity of one week to the respondents to finalize the issue and report compliance by submitting the requisite notifications vis-a-vis reconstitution of the State Consumer Commissions/ District consumer forums. DB further directed failing submitting of requisite notifications vis-a-vis reconstitution of the Consumer Commissions/ District consumer forums, the Secretary to the Government, Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution Department and the Secretary to the Government, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Department, shall appear in person on the next date of hearing. When the PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur observed that on consideration of the matter, in terms of order dated 13th November, 2019, the Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir was asked to apprise the Court about the steps taken for providing the State Consumer Commissions and District Consumer Forums, for both the Union Territories, so that the pending complaints/ appeals are considered for decision. The requisite information had to be submitted within one week. Subsequent thereto, the matter came up for consideration on 20th November, 2019, when the respondents had sought and were granted further two weeks’ time to finalize the issue. Today when the matter was taken up for consideration, both the counsels appearing for the respondents sought further time to report compliance.
The DB further observed that ordinarily, the court has no difficulty in granting time to the respondents, but the respondents need to realize the importance of the issue involved in the matter and take extraordinary steps required for regulation of the cases which were pending before the State Consumer Commission and District Consumer Forums involving directly the public interest.
The DB observed that delay in finalizing the issue of constituting the Consumer Protection Commissions/ Forums to the consumers whose complaints and appeals are pending and consigned to records because of the abolition of the erstwhile Consumer Commissions/ Forums, is required to be addressed in right earnest. Needless to mention that in view of the importance of the matter qua the non-availability of the Consumer Commissions/ District Consumer Forums to the litigants, the court had only granted weeks’ time to the respondents to report the action taken vide order dated 13.11.2019. The Government counsel apprised the court that the decision in the matter is in pipeline as would the communication bearing No. FCS&CA/Legal/44/2019 dated 19th November, 2019, addressed to the Government Counsel by the Additional Secretary to the Government, Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, referred to by the counsel, suggested and accordingly the Court granted further time to the respondents hoping that on the next date the respondents will come up with a notification in respect of reconstitution of the Consumer Commissions/ District consumer forums, but the hope turned into despair on the failure of respondents to show any progress on the expected lines. The delay in the matter is only adding to the sufferings of the litigants and granted last opportunity to file requisite notification.
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