The Supreme Court has expressed strong displeasure over the delay in appointment in the District and State Consumer Forum. The court has said that if the government does not want the Tribunal, then it should repeal the Act. A bench headed by Justice SK Kaul of the Supreme Court said that it is unfortunate that the apex court has to examine the matter of filling the seats of the tribunal. If the government does not want the Tribunal, it should repeal the Act. We are looking at vacancies by increasing our jurisdictions. It is unfortunate for the judiciary that these things have to be looked into. This is not a good situation. Hearing is going on in the Supreme Court in the matter of filling the vacancies of members and staff in the state and district consumer forums across the country and improving the infrastructure. The court had on August 11 directed the central government to fill up the vacancies in consumer forums across the country within eight weeks. The Supreme Court has said that the appointment of the Consumer Forum will not come in the way of the decision of the Bombay High Court. The decision of the High Court will not become a hindrance in the appointment. In fact, the Bombay High Court had struck down some consumer protection rules. The Supreme Court said that the process that has been started for the appointment should not be postponed. The court said that the process which we have fixed, the appointment should be continued according to that process. During the hearing in the Supreme Court, Court Adviser Gopal Sankara Narayanan said that the Bombay High Court has struck down certain provisions of the Consumer Protection Rules on 14 September 2021. Therefore, clarification is needed in the matter of appointment. The consumer protection rules state that the experience of a member in a state consumer forum will be 20 years, while that of a district forum will be of 15 years. Some rules have been struck down by the High Court. On this, the Supreme Court said that under the order of August 11, wherever the appointment process has started, there will be no obstruction from the order of the High Court. The Supreme Court has asked the central government that it can file a special leave petition against the order of the High Court.
[Attribution to NBT]