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The Delhi Government has informed the Delhi High Court that the process of filling up vacancies at the Consumer Commission as well as the State Consumer Forum is going on.
The Delhi Government also informed that drafting of Rules under Section 30 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 in accordance with the Model Rules drafted by the Central Government would also be completed at the earliest.
The statement was made before a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar. The Court was hearing a petition by NGO, Dignity Restoration and Grievance Settlement Association.
The petitioner sought to fill up the vacant posts of judicial and other members of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the District Consumer Fora in the NCR region.
The petition filed through Advocate Shantha Devi Raman last year stated that consumer disputes were “lingering on” in the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the District Fora for years, due to which “the object of the [Consumer Protection] Act has lost its sheen”.
Citing a reply to an RTI application made to the government, the petitioner had asserted that 23,718 cases were pending jointly in State Commission and District Fora in the beginning of June 2018. By the end of the month, that number had increased to 23,887 cases.
Similarly, for District Fora, 13,082 complaints were pending since 0-5 years, and 4,902 complaints were pending since 5-10 years, it was submitted.
The petitioner had asserted that the reasons for the pendency of consumer complaints included vacant positions in the District Fora, lack of infrastructure, untrained staff, and the failure to adhere to summary procedure.
In light of the submissions made by the Delhi Government, the Court granted time till the next date of hearing to the Government to fill up the posts or to advertise the vacancies in Consumer Forum.
The matter would be taken up next on October 10.
The Delhi Government was represented by Additional Standing Counsel Gautam Narayan with Advocates Shivani Vij and Dacchita Shahi.