#Hearing of Consumer Cases have been adjourned in all 24 districts
Bokaro: The posts of judges have been lying vacant in the Consumer Courts across the Jharkhand, including in Bokaro district for the past long.
Around 13000 cases have been pending in the Consumer Courts across the state. The hearing of consumer-related matters in all 24 districts has been postponed; the consumers are still in distress, running from pillar to post with their issues.
This disclosure has come in a reply given by the Public Information Officer of Jharkhand Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Ranchi. Ravi Kumar Verma, a resident of Krishnapuri Colony of Chas, Bokaro, had sought information in this regard from the Public Information Officer of Jharkhand Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Ranchi under RTI.
According to the information given on Jharkhand Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s letter number 133, a total of 887 cases has been heard in the commission related to consumer forums of various districts in the office of Jharkhand State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission since from 2016.
While 851 cases are pending and 36 cases have been executed.
The commission has told that the number of Consumer Courts in the state is twenty-four. Presently no hearing is going on in any district. The hearing has been adjourned in all 24 districts, it stated in the RTI.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPRA) was passed by the Indian parliament and came into force on December 1986. The Act was passed to protect the consumers’ interest as well as to establish state bodies to deal with consumer problems and anything that arises thereof.
Consumer courts were established as Consumer Dispute Resolution Agencies and they deal with consumer disputes, conflicts and grievances. It is a forum where a consumer may file a case against a seller in the case where the consumer feels that he has been cheated or exploited by the seller. The point of having a separate forum for consumer disputes is to ensure that such disputes are speedily resolved and make is less expensive, said Sambhu a social activist and a resident of Bokaro Steel City.
“But it’s amusing, Consumer courts were established in 1986 as a dedicated and faster alternative to the civil courts, but they have come to resemble the latter. “The same ills have infiltrated the system,” he added.
In Consumer courts, the judges do not wear any robes, the complainant need not hire a lawyer, there are no court fees, and the witness box collects dust in a corner. Throughout the country, a new quasi-judicial tradition is being created as ordinary people seek quick justice against various offenders – crooked builders, tardy insurance companies, manufacturers of defective goods, or inefficient public utility companies, said R Giri, Advocate, District Court Bokaro.