Con­sumers left high and dry as forum goes de­funct

With the pass­ing away of the sole mem­ber, the post lies va­cant and re­dres­sal forum can­not func­tion legally

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - IN & AROUND - HT Live Cor­re­spon­dent chdlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­

■ PANCHKULA: The dis­trict con­sumer dis­putes re­dres­sal forum, here will not be able to func­tion from this week as the sole mem­ber of the forum passed away on Satur­day.

Ear­lier on Septem­ber 6 last, Sarita Jain had re­tired and SP Singh was the lone mem­ber of the forum. While ex­press­ing his con­do­lences to the be­reaved fam­ily, Pankaj Chand­gothia, pres­i­dent of the con­sumer courts bar as­so­ci­a­tion, ex­plained that un­der the sub-sec­tion 2 of sec­tion 14 of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, it is pre­scribed that the quo­rum of the court must have at least two mem­bers. It says, “Ev­ery pro­ceed­ing shall be con­ducted by the pres­i­dent of the dis­trict forum and at least one mem­ber thereof sit­ting to­gether; and ev­ery or­der made by the dis­trict forum shall be signed by its pres­i­dent and the mem­ber/mem­bers who con­ducted the pro­ceed­ings.” With the death of the sec­ond mem­ber, the forum is not able to func­tion legally.

Pres­i­dent of the forum Ashok Jain, has re­quested the pres­i­dent of the Haryana State Com­mis­sion jus­tice RS Madan, to de­pute a part-time mem­ber from some other dis­trict of Haryana, so that the forum can hold its sit­tings in the in­ter­est of the ag­grieved con­sumers.

How­ever, since new ap­point­ments are likely to take some time and the chances of deput­ing a part-time mem­ber are also bleak, Chand­gothia said that hun­dreds of con­sumers would con­tinue to suf­fer for a long time in the ab­sence of ju­di­cial hear­ings of their com­plaints at Panchkula.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by Con­sumer Courts Bar As­so­ci­a­tion, “Haryana is al­ready reel­ing un­der the bur­den of 24 va­cant posts in var­i­ous dis­tricts and sev­eral mem­bers are of­fi­ci­at­ing at more than two fo­rums.”

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