NCDRC seeks financial independence for consumer forums

Last Updated: Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 21:28

New Delhi: The National Consumer Dispute
Redressal Commission Sunday sought complete financial
independence for the quasi-judicial bodies through budgetary
allocation.

"Complete financial independence with budgetary
allocation be secured for the consumer forums. The NCDRC is
experiencing great difficulties in tackling pendency of
cases," NCDRC president, Justice Ashok Bhan, said.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the reluctance of
various state governments in not providing land "requisite for
the infrastructural development", he said "state governments
are not cooperating with us (consumer bodies) by providing
land, which is their responsibility.

Speaking on the eve of World Consumer Day, he urged
the Centre to press upon the states so that the consumer foras
at various level can work effectively.

Union Minister of state for Consumer Affairs and Food
and Public Distribution K V Thomas said: so far the
performance of the quasi-judicial bodies have been
satisfactory and the government is in the process of bringing
fourth amendment to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

He said the proposed amendment will further widen the
scope of the Act and rationalise the selection procedure of
the members at various levels of the consumer fora besides
making provisions for the expeditious relief to the consumers.

Supreme Court Justice R V Raveendran said the members of
the foras should be vigilant and follow the Principle of
Natural Justice and "merely because various procedural laws do
not apply (in cases under the Act) does not mean that they can
do whatever they want.

"They must follow the law because the rule of law is the
cornerstone of our democracy."

He also suggested that the members and presidents of
various state commissions should attempt for mediation for the
dispute to provide speedy relief to the complainants.

"I am of the view that 90 per cent of the cases which go
to the forums can be decided by the mediation and forums`
intervention is required only in 10 per cent cases," he said.

A conference of the State Consumer Dispute Redressal
Commissions and Secretaries in-charge of Department of
Consumer Affairs in the states and union territories today
started in the capital with the objective to draw the roadmap
for effective implementation and requisite changes in the Act.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 21:28

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