Reducing Pendency of Cases in Consumer Courts - Steps By Government

Reducing Pendency of Cases in Consumer Courts - Steps By Government

Question: Consumers have recourse to effective redressal of grievances through governance initiatives taken by the Centre. Discuss steps taken by the Indian government to reduce pendency of cases in consumer courts.

The following steps have been taken by the government to reduce the pendency of cases in consumer courts:

• State governments have been asked to take action for filling vacancies for presidents and members and have a panel of candidates in place for filling vacancies and preventing delay in appointments

• Circuit benches from National Commission have been training and visiting states

• Certain State Commissions have constituted Additional Benches got dispose of pending cases backlog

• Lok Adalats are being held by National Commission, State Commissions and District Fora for rapid disposal of cases

• Financial assistance is provided to the State/UT government by the Centre for strengthening infrastructure of fora including networking and computerisation

• Amendments are being made to Consumer Protection Act 1986 for quick disposal of cases

About Consumer Protection Act 1986

- Act aims to protect rights of consumers and it extends to all of India except J&K

- Consumer Protection Councils are established at centre and state level as per this act
- Consumer courts formed under this act aim for speedy disposal of customer dispute cases; Courts aim for protection of consumer rights

- Act is applicable to public, private or cooperative sector

- Act encompasses three tier grievance redressal machinery:

I. District level: District Forum
II. State Level: State Commission
III. National Level: National Commission

- Time bound redressal is another feature of this act

- Act applies to all goods and services except those exempted/notified by Centre

- District Forum and State Commission can settle complaints up to INR 10 lakh and 20 lakh respectively; for complaints involving disputes higher than INR 20 lakh, National Commission is the authority

Facts and Stats

Rights of consumers include the right to:

- Be protected against goods hazardous to life and/or property

- Be informed about quality, quantity, purity, standard, potency and price of goods to protect consumers against illegal trade practices

- Be assured regarding quality of good at competitive prices

- Be given due consideration for redressal of grievances in consumer court

- Be informed about consumer education
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