Plea to fill vacancies in district consumer forums

An advocate has moved the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the State to fill vacant posts of presiding officers, members and other staff at the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forums.

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and S. Ananthi ordered notice in the petition filed by advocate R.M. Arun Swaminathan of Madurai. The petitioner said that due to the vacancies, cases were simply getting adjourned. He pointed out that presiding officers of the consumer forums in the nearby districts sit once a week in the forums where there was a vacancy. The matters would get simply adjourned as the officers were unable to arrive at a decision.

The Consumer Protection Rules, 2020, states that there has to be one president and two members appointed for each district forum. Due to insufficient members, the complainants were not getting their grievances redressed, he said.

The purpose of the Consumer Protection Act is not getting accomplished. Therefore steps must be taken to fill the vacancies, he said. The judges sought a report on the steps that were initiated in this regard and adjourned the hearing till March 23.

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