3.7 L Cases Pending In Consumer Forums – Times of India – 24-Nov-2014
November 25, 2014 - Uncategorized
Over 3.7 lakh cases are pending in consumer forums across the country and at least 70% of them are in district forums. Even as there is maximum pendency at district levels, about two dozen of the district forums are defunct.
Citing reasons behind the inordinate delay in disposal of complaints, the consumer affairs department recently told a parliamentary standing committee that inadequate infrastructure at consumer forums had affected their functioning. It said for sustaining faith in the consumer dispute redressal machinery, it’s imperative that infrastructure requirements are met.
“With the aim to reduce the number of cases or complaints piling up at all levels and particularly at district foras, now there is a proposal to have mediation during the entire period when any case is being heard. This will not only save time but will also satisfy both parties,” said a department official. This proposal has been included in the proposed Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill.
Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan has said that the practice of cases continuing for years must end. “The objective of consumer forums become meaningless if these work like normal courts and people have to wait for 2-3 years for an order,” he recently told reporters.
Meanwhile, under the computerization and computer networking of consumer forums (Confonet) being undertaken to enable access to information and quicker disposal of cases, the government has supplied a new set of hardware to forums. Out of the 473 district forums which have the facility for online access to web-based case monitoring system, only 377 such entities are regularly entering data.
Under Confonet, consumers who have filed complaints in any consumer forum can see the cause list, case status and judgment using internet.