10 Nov 2022 6:33 AM GMT
Taking note of the large pendency and lack of a uniform method for prioritisation of cases in the district consumer forums, the Delhi High Court has issued directions for ensuring expeditious disposal of the consumer mattersJustice Pratibha M Singh directed the Registrars of concerned district forums to start listing final matters, where evidence has been concluded, for hearing at 2:30 PM on...
Taking note of the large pendency and lack of a uniform method for prioritisation of cases in the district consumer forums, the Delhi High Court has issued directions for ensuring expeditious disposal of the consumer matters
Justice Pratibha M Singh directed the Registrars of concerned district forums to start listing final matters, where evidence has been concluded, for hearing at 2:30 PM on a daily basis, with effect from November 14.
The matters shall be listed in a chronological manner starting from the oldest cases first, the court said, adding that an advance publication shall be made in the cause list so that the lawyers and litigants are duly informed.
The court also directed that monthly reports shall be submitted by the concerned Registrars to the Registrar General of the High Court regarding the status of disposal of the final matters.
Justice Singh also ordered that a meeting be held on November 10 in the chamber of its Registrar General on various issues, including providing requisite infrastructure and feasibility for creation of mediation cells in all the district consumer forums.
The court said the meeting be attended by President or member of District Consumer Disputes Redressal forums, Registrar of Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Secretary of Ministry of Delhi Government's Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Additional Standing Counsels Satyakam and Sameer Vashisht, the counsel of the petitioner and officials who had conducted inspection of various district forums.
"Let the conclusion/minutes of the meeting be placed before this Court on or before 22nd November, 2022. List on 22nd November, 2022 at 2:30 pm," the court said.
Earlier, the court had sought a report from its Registrar General on the status of working hours of the forums, taking note of a huge pendency of cases in district fora as well as the State Consumer Forum.
It had also noted that it was expected that physical courts ought to resume quickly in such fora and that some priority must be given to old matters where the evidence was concluded and were pending for final hearing.
As per an earlier report submitted by the Registrar, Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, there were a total 725 cases pending for final hearing before the State Commission and 6,834 number of cases pending for final hearing before various District Fora. In all these cases, evidence was stated to have been concluded.
Regarding infrastructural support, the report stated that there was an acute shortage of space and support staff in the State and the District Fora.
The Court was dealing with a petition highlighting a grievance that the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum (West), Janakpuri, Delhi had not disposed of the consumer complaint, which was filed way back in 2007.
The Court had then called for a report on the aspect of vacancies in respect of staff and members at the said consumer forum and also on the urgent requirements for its effective functioning.
Case Title: MOHAN PRASAD (SINCE DECEASED) THROUGH HIS LRS SH. YOGESH & ORS. v. EMPLOYEES STATE INSURANCE CORPORATION & ANR.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 1066
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