States urged to fill up posts of consumer panels
New Delhi: To speed up redressal of consumer
grievances, the Centre has asked the state governments to expedite filling up of 280 vacant posts, both at the district and state consumer disputes redressal commissions.
"...there are 42 posts of President and 238 posts of
Members lying vacant in the various District Fora across the
states. You could kindly take up this issue," Food and
Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas said in a letter to the
The delay in filling up of the vacant posts has resulted
in consumers waiting for a long time to get their grievances
redressed, he said.
The Centre may have to intervene if the state governments
fail to fill up the vacant posts, he noted and said that a
Parliamentary panel has suggested that the state government`s
be given a three months time to speed up the hiring process.
The Consumer Protection Act duly provides for a fair
settlement of genuine grievances of consumers relating to the
performance, quality, etc of the goods and services.
The government has also set up a proper mechanism for
their redressal at district, state and national levels.
However, the Consumer Forums in some states have remain
ineffective vehicles in the absence of sufficient manpower.
Stressing on hiring quality people, Thomas said, "The
states are paying a meager sum as honorarium for a full time
job. This has resulted in qualified persons not applying for
However, some state governments like Kerala and West
Bengal have revised the salary structure to hike quality
people, he added.
The minister also pointed that there is "unnecessary
restriction" on lawyers, appointed as President and Members of
State Commission and District Fora, as they are debarred from
practicing in lower courts after the tenure of five years.
He asked the state governments look into this issue and
"if possible they could be considered for appointment for
another term of five years based on their performance record."
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