DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - THE STORY -

The Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act was passed to en­sure quick and cheap griev­ance re­dres­sal sys­tem for con­sumers. How­ever, over the years, con­sumers are los­ing their faith on the griev­ance re­dres­sal sys­tem, as judg­ments are not de­liv­ered on time. The fol­low­ing mea­sures are re­quired to re­solve the huge back­log and en­sure faster dis­posal of the cases:

No ad­journ­ments dur­ing fi­nal hear­ing:

The fore­most im­por­tant cor­rec­tive mea­sure re­quired is to en­sure that the cases, which come for ad­ju­di­ca­tion, are cleared within a stip­u­lated time. Com­mis­sions and fo­rums can adopt a fixed board in which the cases listed for fi­nal hear­ing will not be ad­journed at any cost.

Fixed time limit for ar­gu­ments:

The com­mis­sions and fo­rums should adopt a sys­tem of the fixed time limit for en­ter­tain­ing ar­gu­ments of par­ties in petty cases. Also, the court should adopt a prac­tice of ac­cept­ing writ­ten sub­mis­sions of ar­gu­ments, which would greatly help in faster dis­posal of cases.

Pro­mot­ing dis­posal through me­di­a­tion:

Sev­eral cases that

Ca­pac­ity build­ing:

have sad­dled the com­mis­sions and fo­rums can be eas­ily re­solved by adopt­ing me­di­a­tion, which is un­avail­able in the ma­jor­ity of the states. Ex­perts claimed that med­i­ca­tion can bring down the cases filed be­fore the fo­rums and com­mis­sions by at least 30 per cent and the first pri­or­ity should be to try to get the dis­pute set­tled through me­di­a­tion.

While the cu­mu­la­tive pen­dency of cases across the coun­try is grow­ing ev­ery year, it is high time for the state govern­ments, as well as the Cen­tre, to con­sider im­prov­ing the in­fra­struc­ture and man­power re­quired for deal­ing with such a huge back­log of cases. Also, the ju­di­cial and non-ju­di­cial mem­bers should re­ceive reg­u­lar train­ing on how to deal with con­sumer cases, es­pe­cially in the ever-chang­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

Reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing:

The district fo­rums, as well as the state com­mis­sions, should be reg­u­larly mon­i­tored to keep a check on the ac­count­abil­ity of judges as well mem­bers. Proper mon­i­tor­ing will en­sure that the benches func­tion prop­erly.

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