New Delhi, October 22
Fed up with ad-hocism in appointments to consumer commissions, the Supreme Court on Friday said it was time to have permanent consumer courts.
Hearing a suo motu PIL, a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said instead of consumer commissions manned by retired judicial officers on ad hoc basis, there should be permanent consumer courts. “If the government does not want the tribunals, then abolish the Act! We are stretching our jurisdiction to see the vacancies are filled. It is unfortunate that judiciary is called upon to look into this issue…This is not a very happy situation,” it said.
Shun ad hocism
If the government does not want the tribunals, then abolish the Act. We are stretching our jurisdiction to see vacancies are filled. Bench
The Bench had on August 11 directed that vacancies in consumer disputes redressal commissions be filled in eight weeks. It said it was unfortunate that the court was being called upon to examine and fill up vacancies in tribunals and if it wasn’t inclined to continue with tribunals, it should abolish them. Another Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, which is examining the petitions challenging the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021, had earlier questioned the Centre over inordinate delay in appointments to various tribunals.
As a large number of posts in consumer courts remained vacant across India, the Supreme Court had on August 11 directed the Centre, states and UTs to take immediate steps to fill up vacancies in national, state and district consumer courts in eight weeks. It had asked states and UTs which had not set up selection committees to form such committees in four weeks to speed up the process.
The Bench had directed the Centre to do legislative impact study of Consumer Protection Act, 2019, in four weeks, saying no such study was done before the 2019 Act was introduced. — TNS
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