District Consumer Commissions


Parliament had passed an Act in 2019 titled ‘Consumer Protection Act’ with an aim , generally speaking, to protect the interests of the consumer and to have a legal and proper mechanism to settle consumers’ disputes . Though the Act had already been passed in 1986 but to give more teeth to it , it was made more effective and stringent in 2019. Since the Act has become applicable to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir following Reorganisation of the State with effect from October 2019, so far no headway has been made in respect of establishment of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir . The notable thing is that for appointing of Presidents of these Commissions steps were taken only in early April this year when for 10 districts of the UT, applications were invited. However, very poor response to the notice for inviting applications led the Government further extend the date of submission to May 15. Are there problems with the eligibility criteria for heading such District Commissions and non availability of the candidates, as the incumbent should be of the category of a District Judge that the response was so poor ?Had this exercise been undertaken right at the end of 2019 or even last year , sufficient cushion having been there, by now, such Commissions would have probably been functional . Establishing of District Commissions which are no less in importance than general judicial proceedings and even a criminal court under specified chapters of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 cannot be taken casually . The matter getting so much delayed only means that the interests of the consumers and their complaints remain under dormancy which the Administrative Council headed by the Lt. Governor must look into, at the earliest.