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
■ 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.”