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25 Jun 2022, Edition - 2538, Saturday

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Columns

Confusion surrounding State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Manoj A

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The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has been functioning without a President since 2015. This has invariably made slow the judgment in thousands of cases pending in the forum.

According to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, cases listed in the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum should be redressed in 90 days to help consumers get justice without delay. But, nearly 800 cases have piled up at the forum in Coimbatore as the post of President is lying vacant.

PENDING CASES :

Cases pending before the forum pertain to issues related to construction, insurance and medical claims, medical negligence, loan, dishonoured cheques, deposit claims and poor maintenance of consumer goods.

PANEL :

The redressal forum here was established in 1991 and functioned at the District Court premises before it was shifted to the Collectorate in 1993.

The forum, with a panel of three persons, is headed by the President – a retired District Judge who holds office for five years or till he turns 65 years old, whichever is earlier. Two others, including a male social worker or advocate and a female social worker, are members. The forum here has two members and the post of President is vacant from June 4, 2015, after the retirement of the former President.

TENURE :

The last President of the forum here was initially President of the forum at Erode and in-charge of Coimbatore from October 2014, before he was made the President for Coimbatore from January 2015. During his tenure for the next five months he was in-charge of the Nilgiris. He travelled to Udhagamandalam every Friday.

The process of appointing a President begins only after the current President retires. Till then, the President of the forum in the nearby district is posted in-charge of the vacant position. But we do not have an in-charge President too.

Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause K. Kathirmathiyon has written to the Registrar of the State Consumer Redressal Commission, Chennai, to fill up the vacancy.

Recently, a President, Jaishankar, has been appointed for the forum in the Nilgiris where only about 50 cases were pending.

It is learnt that more than 50 new cases came to the forum every month when it had a President. Now, around 35 cases are added every month. While some cases are settled in the stipulated period of three months, the number of cases went on for up to two years.

Monday to Wednesday he looks after Coimbatore District. And the next two days he leaves to Nilgiris from Dec 20, 2016 he has been on long leave and the remaining two members at the court, Amutha and Prabakaran have taken his seat. For the last 45 days no judgment has been delivered.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own

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