Straight Line News Network
Jammu, March 10: Nearly one and half year after State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission was wound up in Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, administration of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory initiated the process for its revival.
For over a year, confusion persisted regarding the appropriate forum appellants could reach for filing new consumer complaints. Even Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution shows that not even a single consumer complaint was filed in J&K in the year 2020.
The J&K State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission was a quasi-judicial body which was part of the three-tier structure meant to ensure protection of consumer rights. According to sources, nearly 2,500 cases were pending for disposal in the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission until October 23, when the order came for it to wind up. But the cases that were pending in the commission were not referred to any National Commission or any other judicial or quasi-judicial body. Instead, the records of these cases, as per a government order, were transferred to the Department of Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs. Without any roadmap for the hearing of cases, response to complaints or any final recommendation, the cases ceased to be cases and became simple records.
Now the government has set the ball rolling for appointment of the body’s President and four members. The documents reveal that the department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs has invited applications from suitable and interested candidates for appointment to the President and members of the Commission.
According to the department of FCS& CA, the applicant applying for the post of President shall be the person who is, or has been a judge of the High Court, the persons to be appointed as members shall possess experience of at least 10 years as presiding officer of a district court or any tribunal at an equivalent level or combined service as such in the district court and tribunal.
The members shall also have special knowledge and professional experience of not less than 20 years in consumer affairs, law, public affairs, administration, economics, commerce, industries, finance, management, engineering, technology, public health or medicine.
According to rules governing these appointments, the President and members of the State Commission and shall be appointed by the State Government on the recommendation of a Selection Committee comprising chief justice of the High Court or any Judge of the High Court nominated by him, secretary in charge Consumer Affairs of the State and nominee of the chief secretary of the State. These appointments would be made under the Consumer Protection Act-2019, the law enacted by the Parliament.