Srinagar, Nov 20: The UT Government today informed the Court that it has sought advise for re-constitution of erstwhile abolished Commissions and District Consumer Forums from the Department of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs under new Act.
The Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice D S Thakur granted two weeks time to Government and hoped that the issue will be addressed within this time. “We hope and trust that the Government would address the issue and make alternate arrangement for functioning of Commissions and all District Consumer Forums”, the DB recorded in the order.
It may be mentioned there that the High Court last week had directed the Government to inform it about the steps taken for alternate arrangement of abolished Commissions and District Forums for both Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh in order to settle the pending cases in these Commissions and Forums after implementation of J&K Re-Organization Act 2019 on October 31.
Government today submitted a copy of order which says that department of FCS&CA on November 11 has taken up the matter with the department of LJ&PA for seeking advise regarding the issue. “…issuance of necessary notifications in respect of re-constitution of Jammu and Kashmir UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and District Consumer Forums under Consumer Protection Act, 2019”, read the order.
Government counsel has been asked to seek some time required for finalization of the matter because as and when the Law department shall convey the advise, the department of FCS&CA shall take further action accordingly. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 was repealed and Consumer Protection Act 1986 has been made applicable to the UT of J&K by new enactment known as ‘Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
The Section 45 of new enactment provided that any person appointed as President or, as the case may be, a member of the State Commission immediately before the commencement of this Act shall hold office as such, as president or member, as the case may be till the completion of his term.
The Court was hearing the petition with reference to effective functioning of the erstwhile State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) and with the winding up of about 7 erstwhile Commissions after coming into force the Re-Organization Act 2019, all records pertaining to the J&K SCDRC have been transferred to the Department of FCS&CA.
All the presidents of the Redressal Commission and District Forums, who were on deputation as District Judges at Srinagar and Jammu have been repatriated to the High Court and the cases are left without Forums. “In addition, 2500 cases are closed which were pending before the State Commission. it is submitted that in-terms of the Government order, the records are transferred to the concerned Assistant Directors of the Department of FCS&CA”, the Amicus submitted.
Being the position of law and in view of important public interest involved in the matter, the Governments of both UTs are under direction to inform the court about the steps taken for alternate arrangements for establishment of Commissions and District Forms so that the pending cases are settled.