With no forum president in place, huge rise in consumer complaints

Hearings are not possible in the absence of president and two of its members in a district consumer forum.

Hyderabad: Consumer cases are piling up fast at the District Consumer Forum (DCF-I) Hyderabad with as many as 336 cases pending for disposal. This is because hearings cannot be done due to the absence of president and two of its members.

In a district forum, a bench must comprise a president who is usually a retired district and sessions judge and two members, one of them is a female. For hearing and disposal of a case, presence of the president and one, if not two members, is mandatory. But the scenario is different at DCF-I.

“I am the president of DCF-II but as the post of DCF-I lying vacant, I am given the charge of it and we are functioning only with three members against six for the two forums which results in piling of huge work in all categories. Notifications were sent to state government in December last year about vacancies and they are in the process,” DCF-I Hyderabad president, T. Simachalam said.

According to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, cases listed in the consumer court should be redressed in 90 days to help consumers get justice without delay. But, as many as 336 cases have piled up at the DCF-I as the post of president is lying vacant after his sudden demise.

As per Section 1 of the Consumer Act, the president is to be appointed by the State Government based on the recommendations of the High Court.

“All we do now is sharing of work of both the forums with the limited members and waiting for the new president to be appointed,” Mr Simhachalam stated.

Mr Simachalam said that cases are pending before the forum pertain to disputes related to banking, education, Railways, Airlines, Postal, Transport, Insurance claims, medical negligence, dishonouring cheques, deposit claims and poor maintenance of consumer goods but the rate at which the complaints against the real estates are rising is a matter of concern.

“The majority of the cases related to delay in the possession of flats, cases related to refund of money or not fulfilling the promises given to the customers,” he explained.

The president further added that the time limit is within two years from the date on which the cause of action arose but under certain circumstances, a delay petition can be filed by consumer using 24A supporting adequate reason to the bench.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story