NATIONAL COMMISSION EMPOERED TO DISPOSE OFF REVIEW PETITON WITHOUT ORAL HEARING

NATIONAL-COMMISSION-EMPOERED-TO-DISPOSE-OF-REVIEW-PETITON-WITHOUT-ORAL-HEARING.
NATIONAL COMMISSION EMPOERED TO DISPOSE OF REVIEW PETITON WITHOUT ORAL HEARING
A writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India had been filed by one Surender Mohan Arora before the High Court of Delhi, praying that Regulation 15 of the Regulations be struck down on the ground that the said Regulation is ultra virus of section 30 A of the act which empowers the commission to frame rules and further prays to re-hear the review application by making oral arguments.
Surender Mohan Arora had filed a review petition before the National Commission against its order dated 14 august 2012 .National Commission dismissed the review petition on 24 Sep. 2012 by circulating it among the reviewing members and without hearing the petitioner in person in the open court as per the provisions under Sction22. Section 15(2) of the act explains the procedure for handling the review petition and permits the commission to dispose of application by circulation without oral argument.
High court dismissed the writ petition on the ground of misconceived facts as no such application was ever filed before he commission for oral argument in the absence of which National commission has followed the correct procedure which is not ultra virus of the provisions .Supreme Court confirms the order by High court of Delhi.

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Prem Lata

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Consumerism

New dimesion in the field of services under Consumer Protection Act

REPORTING OF UNIQUE CASE.

New dimension in the field of Services covered under Consumer Protection Act
It was the second amendment in 1993 which brought number of services under the consumer protection act apart from the earlier scope of dealing with the matters concerning market goods. In the year 1993, an important case of Lucknow Development Authority V/S M.G. Gupta and others on the issue of Housing board engaged in construction of houses for the registered consumers was being heard by the Honorable Supreme court and at the same time amendment to the act was also in the process. The issue before the Hon’ble Supreme court was as to how housing board can fall under the preview of Consumer Protection Act it being dealing with immovable property whereas so far goods defined under the sale of goods act (movable goods) were the subject matter of Consumer Protection Act. During the discussion, court had observed and was of the view that construction of house is a service provided to the consumers once consumer has registered himself with the housing board /authority with an understanding that he will make the payments as and when demand is raised in installments for construction. Accordingly, in the amendment 1993, number of services including housing was brought under the preview of consumer protection act as added in section 2 of the act.
Since then, many services were falling under the act with the passage of time due to developing needs in the society. Supreme Court also pronounced number of landmark judgment explaining the scope of the Act for considering various services falling under the scope of consumer co
National consumer helpline has got a complaint on 15.05.2014 from a caller against an agency named as LIFE CELL INDIA stem cell bank engaged in preserving the Umbilical Cord of new born baby which is a new dimension and an interesting case of deficiency in services falling under the Consumer Protection Act.

Ref. Complaint against Life Cell India, an agency / Complaint No.:511955

Facts of the case:
Complainant hired services from LIFE CELL INDIA for preserving Umbilical Cord of new born baby for 20 years. Agreement between the parties executed and payment of total amount of Rs 50,000/-agreed to be paid by the complainant .Ten percent (10%) of the total amount paid at the time of contract .Rest of the amount was agreed to be paid in one year in installments. Complainant had paid more than 10,000/-by now and EMI is being deducted from the bank regularly .Complainant now receives the letter from the agency alleging installments not paid. Agency informs to the complainant that service contract shall be terminated due to non -payment of installments.
Complainant has been suggested to write to the Head office as well as branch dealing with the matter and send the same through Registered or Speed post enclosing the proof of EMI released from the bank i.e. statement of account .A copy of the same be marked to bank also for information so as to make bank also responsible for default if any on their part.
A request made to the agency for not terminating the contract and for updating their record about the payment to the agency by the complainant.
NCH puts all efforts to settle the conflict before it becomes dispute. However ,it case of non-accommodating attitude by the service agency like this , It will be case of deficiency in services on the part of stem preserving agency falling under the scope of Consumer Protection Act which is a new dimension observed in the area of services .

Dr Prem Lata ,Legal Expert(CONSUMER AFFAIRS)

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Consumerism

PROXY–COUNSEL; NO SUCH WORD OR TERMINOLOGY APPEARS IN THE ADVOCATES ACT.

PROXY–COUNSEL; NO SUCH WORD OR TERMINOLOGY APPEARS IN THE ADVOCATES ACT.

It’s very common to see in day to day hearings before the various courts that proxy counsels are appearing on behalf of main advocate invariably before the court. Since consumer courts are to follow summery procedure as provided under section 13 of the act, this practice is adversely affecting the proceedings and consumer courts are getting converting into civil courts. At times heavy penalties are imposed upon the advocates for not appearing personally before the courts on the date fixed but it still does not bring the desired results. Recently, National Commission in their cause list specifically issued a notice no proxy counsel shall be allowed to make submissions.
This notice is now challenged by an advocate one Mr., Majithia while arguing in one case before the hon’ble supreme court in the matter of Surender Mohan Arora V/S H DFC Bank and others. It is argued that the said notice or direction is bad in law and is without jurisdiction. This prevents a qualified lawyer enrolled on the rolls of state bar council from presenting his case before the National Commission. It is further stated that under section 30 of the advocates1961, an advocate after having been enrolled under the act has a right to appear before the courts or any other authority and therefore its curtailment of the right of an advocate.
Further it is alleged that this notice is also in violation of article 19(1) (g) of the constitution being the fundamental right to practice
It was observed by the hon’ble court on this issue that there is no terminology in the advocate act which defines Proxy Counsel .It is further referred a recent judgement by the hon’ble Supreme court in the matter of Sanjay Kumar vs State Of Bihar & Anr decided on 28 January, 2014 wherein three –judge bench comprising Bench: B.S. Chauhan, J. Chelameswar, M.Y. Eqbal
In Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.9967 Of 2011 ordered as hereunder ;

“In the instant case the counsel appearing in the court for the petitioner designated himself merely has a proxy counsel. The Advocate- on-record (for short AOR) had no courtesy to send, at least, a slip mentioning the name of the counsel who has to appear in the court. Thus, in such a fact-situation, we had no advantage even to know the name of the counsel who was appearing in the court.”
“In such a chaotic situation, any Arzi, Farzi,, half- baked lawyer under the label of proxy counsel a phrase not traceable under the Advocates Act, 1961 or under the Supreme Court Rules, 1966 etc., cannot be allowed to abuse and misuse the process of the court under a false impression that he has a right to waste public time without any authority to appear in the court, either from the litigant or from the AOR,(advocate on record) as in the instant case.’
This order pronounced by the Apex court can prove a boon for the consumer forums and needs to be publicized and popularized among the forums, It is not out of place to mention that the proceedings at consumer forums are hampered badly by the proxy consel who are directed by the advocates to appear before the forum only for the purpose of obtaining/seeking adjournment. Such so called proxy counsels are neither aware of the facts of the case nor are having file with them .This proxy practice is a big cause for delaying the matters and converting the consumer courts into civil court defeating the purpose of law.

Dr Prem Lata
Legal Expert (Consumer affairs)

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Ragging –a burning question

 

‘My death will bring about a change’

said Aman satya kachroo,student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Govt. Medical college Tanda District Kangra Himachal Pradesh who was subjected to ragging and  who ended his life

This is the opening note of a book “Ragging the Red alert’  written  by Gulshan Narang and published by Standard Publishers [India] which is recently released on 3rd Jan.2010 by Honourable  Justice Kailash Gambhir, High court of Delhi

 

 

Honourable Justice Kailash Gambhir [Chief guest],Dr Prem Lata[Guest of Honour] Mohinder Vashishtha [Publisher]

 

The concept of ragging must have developed initially for the purpose of creating bonding between seniors and juniors in the form of introduction but as we observe, it could not become means for familiarisation with freshers in any manner .Instead it has become a terrorizing act leading to financial extortion or sexual abuse,forcing obscene acts and gestures and even ending up with rape .It is no less than the atrocities of the kind given to the prisoners confined to jails Indulging into ragging is reprehensible aberrations eradicating all the  values from our education system.it reflects how our academic institutions are badly suffering from erosion of sensitivity.The form of ragging seen is a result of mental sickness to be curbed by all means.

Sreries of ragging  events leading to depression and deaths of students alarmed some of the NGO’s to wake up and they worked as bull fighters against this social evil A religious and culcural organization Vishwa Jagriti Mission filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation)No 656 of 1998 Vishwa  Jgriti Mission v Central Govt. through Cabinet secretary & others before the Supreme court of India comprising a bench of two judges Justice R.C Lahoti and Justice Brijesh Kumar .Judiciary took a remarkable step by constituting a committee headed by Dr R.K.Raghwan ,former director of CBI to look into the matter and prepare a report .The report was presented before the Hon’ble.SC and Govt of India was given directions to act upon the observations and made and guidelines given  by the committee.UGC also took immediate action by framing Regulations on curbing the menance of ragging in Higher Educational Institutions ,2009 (under section 26(1)(g) of the University Grant Commission Act ) for the institutions and circulars were also issued to the various universities /institutions for implementing the same.

Hon’b.Supreme court noted

“ragging can be stopped by creating an awareness amongst students ,teachers and parents that it is a reprehensible act which does no good to any one and by simultaneously generating an atmosphere of discipline by sending a clear message that no act of ragging shall be tolerated and any act of ragging shall not go unnoticed and unpunished.’’

Ragging defined by the apex court:

‘‘Any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken or written or an act which has an effect of teasing,treating or handling with rudeness an other student indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities which causes or likely to cause annoyance,hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension there of in a fresher or a junior student….’’

The punishment may also take the shape of:

  1. withholding scholarship or other benefits
  2. debarring from representation in events
  3. withholding results
  4. suspension or expulsion from hostel or mess and the like.

 

NGO’s working for the cause:

  1. Vishwa Jagriti Mission
  2. CURE(Coalition to uproot ragging from education
  3. SAVE(Society against voilence in education)
  4. SPACE(Society of people;s action change and enforcement)
  5. SATHEE

 

 

We all must join hands to curb this wrong William Pen had said:

 

“What is wrong is wrong

Even if everyone is doing it

Right is still right

Even no one else is doing it ’

But you must continue doing it if you feel you are on the right path

Justice Sharda Aggrawal[retired judge High court of Delhi]Justice kailash Gambhir Judge High court Delhi,Dr Prem lata Member Consumer court Delhi

 

By Dr Prem Lata

Former Law officer SAIL

Presenly Member consumer court Delhi

 
 
 

 

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राधिका तूने बांसुरी चुराई ……….

राधिके तूने बांसुरी चुराई …..

हाल ही मे मोदी जी ने अपने एक वकतवय मे कहा कि हम मुहावरों की भाषा ही भूल गए है ,उन्हे सही संदर्भ  मे नही देखते । मोदी जी की  साहित्य-संवेदनशीलता  पर संदेह करने का कोई कारण नही है हमारे पास पर हम उनको इसके नंबर नहीं दे रहे , पर राधा पर जब बांसुरी चुराने के इल्जाम की बात कही जाती है तो उसके लिए थोड़ा संवेदन शील मन तो चाहिए ही जो सच मे अपने देश से लुप्त हो चुका है।अब कुत्ते का पिल्ला गाड़ी के नीचे आ जाता है …कहने से किसी भी जीव की ओर इंगित करता लगता है ओर संवेदना व्यक्त होती है ,करुणा जागती है ।

अब आप तो राधा पर बांसुरी चुराने का आरोप लगा रहे है ,उसकी भावना को तो कोई देख ही नहीं रहा –क्यो चुराई बांसुरी । बांसुरी तो उसकी सौत होती जा रही है –सारा वक्त कृष्ण के होठो पर सटी  रहती है,राधा  बिचारी क्या करे । उसे तो बस एक ही काम है न –कृष्ण के इर्द गिर्द रहना जो हो नहीं पा रहा क्योकि बीच मे बांसुरी आ गई ।तो बस उसे चुरा लिया –कोई चोरी थोड़े ही न की –एक बाधा दूर की अपना मंतव्य पूरा करने के लिए । फिर किसी का क्या गया ,कृष्ण की बांसुरी थी ओर कृष्ण उसका अपना है –उसने कोन  सी एफ आई आर लिखवाई थी  । फिर उस जमाने मे न तो राधा ऑफिस जाती थी न कोई उसकी एकता कपूर के सिरियल जैसी सास थी जो उसे टोकती । ओर तो ओर उसके पति की आपत्ती या मार – कुटाई का भी कोई किस्सा नहीं सुना ,शायद  मीडिया इतना  सक्रिय  ना रहा हो । फिर मीडिया वालो ने अन्याय  ही किया राधा के पति के साथ ,कृष्ण से मिल गए होंगे । मुद्दे की बात यह है कि  भावना तो देखनी ही चाहिए न ।

अब आप रोज कन्या दान करते है बेटियो को ब्याह कर । वैसे तो लडकिया  खूंखार हो गई है ,बिलकुल नहीं सुनती माँ- बाप की बात पर कन्या दान के समय कुछ नही बोलती ,चुप चाप दान हो लेती है ,सिर झुका कर । एक आदमी एक चीज उठा कर दूसरे आदमी को सारी पावर ऑफ अटार्नी के साथ सोंप देता है-लो भाई अब तेरी हो गई । तू इसे रख जैसे तेरा  दिल करे-वेसे  ही जेसे मेरा दिल किया था मैने  रखा । यहा भी कितना बड़ा झूठ है न –न तो पिता की मर्जी चली थी अब तक न आगे किसी की चलनी है –पर आपको तो  भावना देखनी चाहिए न जो दिख ही नहीं रही किसी को । पिता कहते है-यह मेरे घर का मान सम्मान था ,अब तुमहरा हुआ । बस गलत है तो यह शब्द –कन्या दान ।

अब जरा दहेज को देख ले –विवाह के समय भाई बंधु बड़े प्यार से ,मनुहार से अपनी  सबसे प्यारी बेटी को बहन को वह सब साथ देते है जो वह इस्तेमाल करती थी ,जिन चीज़ो  से उसे प्यार था । चूकी दूर जाना होता था ,रास्ते के लिए खाने पीने का सामान भी बांध दिया जाता था । यह सब दहेज होता था । आपके घर मे मेहमान आए है ,खाली थोड़े ही न भेजेंगे ,इस लिए उन्हे भी उपहार  देते है । तब न तो रास्ते मे मेकडोनल आता था न पीज़ा हट्ट ,भूख तो लगेगी न । अब यह हो गया डावरी-फ्रिज ,टीवी ओर गाड़ी की मांग वाली डावरि- इतना बड़ा  कानून का भूत –नही नही जी आप हमे अपना प्यार न जताए,कल को आपकी बेटी थाणे मे शिकायत कर देगी।

कहा से कोई समझे वह संस्कृती से जुड़े वयवहार ।हमने छोड़ा ही क्या है समझने को जो समझे ।

अब राधा ने बांसुरी चुराई है तो बांसुरी चुराई है –क्यो चुराई है  यह तो अदालत के सामने बताना जा कर। अगर कभी जज साहेब ने प्रेम किया होगा ओर तेरी बात समझ्त सकेगा तो वाह भला नही तो भाई चोरी तो फिर चोरी है ।

डॉ प्रेम लता

 

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Consumerism

cji v/s cji

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JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE- A PARAMOUNT FEATURE FOR JUDICIAL INSTITUTIONS

JUDICIAL  DISCIPLINE- A PARAMOUNT  FEATURE   FOR  JUDICIAL  INSTITUTIONS

It is well settled law as per  Article 141 of our constitution that Judgements made by the Supreme court are binding on all lower courts of the country.Hence the laws laid down by the Supreme court are binding on all High courts of the country and accordingly law laid down by the High court of a particular state are binding on all lower courts/tribunals of that particular state.But inspite of strong view taken by the apex court about  judicial discipline ,violation of basics by the lower courts/tribunals is yet in substantial increase.Lower courts and tribunals refuse to follow and accept the verdict of law by the larger benches giving reason of  some minor differences in the facts .This amounts to disrespect to constitutional ethos and  indiscipline of this kind can have grave impact on the judicial institutes.  Three judges bench of the Apex court while adjudicating the matter of Official liquidator v Dayanand [2008] 10 SCC [2009] 1 SCC[L&S]943  raised its concern on several such judgements namely U.P. SEB V Pooran Chandra Pandey [2007] 11 SCC 92 and criticized this kind of disobeyance and also  directed that such judgements  not to be treated as obiter dictum. Not only this, bench even criticized  the judgement in which two judges bench differed with each other. In the case of State of U.P. V Jeet Bisht [ SCC p 623,para100] Justice Sinha also wrote ;-

“One bench of this court does not sit in appeal over the other bench particularly when it is a coordinate bench .It is equally inappropriate for us to express total disagreement in the same matter as also in similar matters with the directions and observations made by the larger benches.”

In the light of the above proposition of law ,I may refer to the landmark judgements delivered by the Hono’ble High court of Delhi in the year 2007on the point of charging more than MRP by the hotels and restaurants in the matter of the Federation Of Hotels and Restaurants Association  Of India & Ors Versus  Union Of India & Ors. and also again in the year 2009 in the matter of  Delhi Gymkhana Club Ltd V Union Of India again elaborating the scheme and law in detail.The question raised in the year 2007 in the case of  Federation Of Hotels & Restaurants Association  Of India & Ors V/S Union Of India  was as to whether it is permissible for the hotel to charge their customers any price above the maximum retail price mentioned on the mineral water bottle .The court held in clear terms that charging price for mineral water in excess of the MRP printed on the packaging ,in the provision of service to the customers does not violate any of the provisions of the standards of weights and measurement act as it does not constitutes a sale or transfer of the commodity to them .Billing by hotelier/restaurant for service and goods is one and indivisible.It is further elaborated that a customer when enters a hotel or restaurant ,it is not simply to make a purchase of these commodities .His direct purpose of going therein is more than this-it is to enjoy its ambience ,hence held  NO for courts to interdict the sale of bottled mineral water.

Again in the year 2009,the same issue came up before the Hon’ble H.C. of Delhi in the case of Delhi Gymkhana Club Ltd V/S  Union Of India.Here the issue was about the price printed on the cold drink and objection on charging more than the price printed thereon.It was held that food items and beverages ,packaged or in any other form for the consumption in a comfortable atmosphere of the club not to be treated as sale  to the members .Price at which they are to be provided is clearly mentioned on the menu.

One of the consumer forums in Delhi made a loud pronouncement recently  that  the defence of enjoyment of the ambience of the restaurant is not available to the opposite party in view of the various judgements of the state commission that water is a commodity which is altogether distinguishable from other eatables and therefore mineral water cannot be sold at more than the price at which it is ordinarily sold in the market and that charging more than MRP constitutes unfair trade practice.Moti Mahal Restaurant in Delhi is fined for that to the tune of Rs 50,000/-

Amazing!It was only mineral water in the issue in the matter of Federation Of Hotels & Restaurants Association  Of India & Ors before the Ho’ble High court of Delhi in the year 2007 wherein in clear terms it was held by the high court of Delhi –“charging price for mineral water in excess of the MRP printed on the packaging ,in the provision of service to the customers does not voilate any of the provisions of the Standards Of Weights And Measurement act as it does not constitutes a sale or transfer of the commodity to them “. Law on the issue repeated in Delhi Gymkhana case also in the year 2009.We do not find an inch of difference in the facts of the case before high court of Delhi and facts before District forum.Price of Bottled water is in question in both the places.Consumer is terribly confused to see such orders . District forum being  the lowest consumer redressal  court is bound to follow superior court’s verdicts and maintain the judicial discipline.In all circumstances,water when purchased,consumer is sitting in the restaurant ,commanding the employees of the hotel/restaurant,attended by them,enjoying all comforts irrespective of the fact whether he ordrs for more items or not.Then how can he escape from paying for all this treatment and ambience  which is surely not available to him standing on the roadside at a corner buying water from a paanwala.

The above observations  made by the courts in their various judgements makes it ample clear a few things-

  1. Eatables consumed under a comfortable atmosphere ,enjoying the ambience and other facilities in the hotel ,restaurant or in the club cannot be separated for billing for their price ,services and other taxes leveled by the Govt.
  2.  A restaurant  provides many services, in addition to the supply of food. He provides furniture and furnishings, linen, crockery and cutlery, and in the eating places of today he may add music and a specially provided area for floor dancing and in some cases a floor show. Once a person enters the hotel/restaurant /club,he orders for the desired item,waiter comes,takes order,serve him on the table.Charges taken for any order include all these facilities whether it is  water or a pinch of salt.

Consumer forums have been given plenty of discretionary power with the object to protect the interest of consumers.Its true that every interpretation is to be made keeping in view the intention of the Act .Hence wherever two interpretations are available ,the one which favours the consumers must be chosen .But it should not threaten the whole system of  judicial institutions and disturb the  judicial discipline. Rights of others is equally important and  ignoring the superior court’s verdicts may raise loud alarm which may at the end of the day harm the credibility of  consumer forums.

 

Dr Prem Lata

Member ,consumer forum

 

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SAVE CONSUMER FORUMS :STILL STRUGGLING FOR SURVIVAL

Notification no. S.O. 390[E] dated 15th April 1987 was an historical event, the day Consumer Protection Act came into force in the whole of India except the state of Jammu &Kashmir  .Yet it was not a pleasing note for the big business houses. Resentment and opposition had started  from the day one and consumer forums could not be established immediately.The first consumer forum was set up on 19.8.1988 in Delhi after a lot of persuation and PIL filed by  by NGO’s Since then the Govt ,the Apex court had always extended helping hand to this welfare act , enhanced the scope of consumer forums  by every new  amendment. Number of services in connection with banking ,financing ,insurance ,transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy,boarding  or lodging or both ,housing construction ,entertainment ,amusement or the purviewing of news or other information etc.were also  brought under the ambit of CPAct apart from goods .It was a real jolt to the whole industrial, commercial set ups as well as professional groups and there was an outburst  resulting  into retaliation in the form of challenge to the act itself alleging it an unconstitutional and unlawful attempt of creating  a parallel judicial system against well established civil courts and that Indian parliament has no jurisdiction to pass such an act.

The  case of Vishwabharti house building co-operative society v Karnataka state &others SC 2002 came up for hearing before the Hon’b  Supreme court and   the apex court made its pronouncement in the year 2002 that“Act is made under the provisions of the constitution vii) schedule ,list i ,ii & iii Article 246 part- 2 wherein it is said that parliament can constitute any judicial system other than Supreme court & High court.

This is how we landed up in a situation that  consumer courts are still functional as on date.

But all is not well with the consumer forums today. The pity condition of consumer forums is a matter of great concern of the day from whom  public had great expectations when enough provisions have been made to deal with the cases under summery provision for speedy disposal . Bench is expected to work on regular day to day basis even if one member out of  three is not present for any reason. Supreme court   gave direction to the Government to henceforth take care that proper infrastructure is provided to the forums and vacancies in the forums are filled well before time vide their judgement in the matter of Dr J J Murchant V Shrinath Chaturvedi in2002 [SC] page 635.Central ministry also acted promptly supporting directions by the apex court and issued circular dt 20th June 2005 suggesting  at para (!) of the circular to maintain the forums and initiate the proceedings for filling the vacant post and preparing the panel  well before time . This was done as a precausion because every order is to be signed by the president and at least one member as per section 14 of the act and in case post of president is vacant,no order in the forums/commissions can be passed.

But it is very unfortunate that sitting judges appointed for the post of presidents  in some cases make the department  wait for more than a year to join. In recent past in Delhi,consumer courts which  remained without Presidents  from November 2009 till Feb end 2011 in various forums in Delhi, could not pass any orders for almost one year because the vacancies  of presidents  which had fallen vacant in November 2009[one],Feb 2010,[one]April 2010 [one] May 2010[one] and  in July 2010[two] were advertised on 18th march 2010 only and could be filled finally on Feb 2011,when the appointed presidents retired as judges in district courts.

 

The debate is ripe now on the issue as to whether sitting judges should apply for the posts in tribunals or not .The issue is taking momentum for the reasons –firstly sitting judges may  try to influence the selection process and secondly if their tenure is yet to be over, they make the department wait for their retirement.Justice R S Sodhi ,former Delhi High  court judge feels judges applying while still in service denigrate the judicial system.Sharply criticizing this phenomenon Justice Sodhi said ‘this is the crisis of morality within the judiciary .Its so deep that we have a situation where judges are vying with each other for a post after retirement .Ideally,in my view a sitting judge should never apply ‘What kind of judicial independence we are talking about if judges start applying like this with the government”said justice Sodhi

Further,the judicial officers so appointed are accustomed to work under civil procedure code in the civil courts. Presidents of the forums can be either retired judicial persons or advocates having seven years experience as an advocate .Those who come from judicial background have their mind set tunned to civil procedure code ,go more with the tendency of advocates rather than coming to the level of consumers to make the forum friendly court.It is invariably seen that  Advocates promptly  refer to CPC,file application after application under order so and so ,rule so and so.Retired judicial officer with their CPC tunned mind instead of disposing off the application there and then, routinely gives it to  consumer for comments which will further lead to argument on the application  . Poor consumer is in a flux-does not know what is Order and Rule of CPC and on the next date comes with advocate .Generaly  presidents do not  discourage  advocates from quoting   CPC provision  and subsequently consumer forums are now functioning like  civil court .This was really not desired ,neither is the intention of this welfare legislature.

Contribution of other two Members of the forum is negligible firstly because they lack legal knowledge to share with the Presidents who  had been functioning independently through out their tenure as judges. There is hardly any occasion when other  two members  are in sharing position with the presidents and discussing their viewpoint. Members also, who are not  equipped with legal background, enjoy the comfort of easy way going things and for all practical purposes ,it has become a one man show defeating the purpose of three members composition of the forum.It is much desired to enhance the requisite qualification of members, at least law graduates to meet the purpose .

Appointed presidents are to look after administrative work of the forum also which is again an obtrusive issue .,Administration work suffer for the reasons presidents do not have  experience of administration.They have  even not developed a habit of sitting in the office after court hours. They pack up and walk away after get up from the dias,stenographer  is called at home,dictations given as per their convenience at home.With the result,member also walk away,staff enjoys liberty to close their shop as and when desire.Advocates/consumers  coming for copies of the orders or with other queries find-computer ,printer or photocopy in non-working condition-none is there to help them ,to hear them or  redress their grievance .

Regarding administrative control over the consumer forums by the Sec-cum-commissioner of the state ,there is a special director in the ministry who looks after and controls all the consumer court affairs and is responsible for running the forums .By virtue of this arrangement,Presidents in the forums are to work with commissionor office for all practical purposes –for providing reports of cases disposed off,cases pending and other infrastructural problems.But it is unfortunate to note that presidents of the forums are unwilling to work with executives controlling the forums for the very reason that they  had been pronouncing orders and directing for the executives throughout their service tenure and now not ready to accept any control over them . Executive-judiciary conflict is visible here also depicting  a very sad scenario..

Above situation is not favourable for consumer forums. There is a lot of hue and cry –long pendency of cases every where ,different modes and methods are being adopted –arbitration ,mediation counseling ,tribunals and forums, lok adalat and legal aid authority etc etc.But see the pity condition of consumer forums which were expected to work under summery procedure and to decide the matters within ninty days .There is a need to appoint registrar in each forum to look after administration work like consumer commissions so that the repair can be done at grass root level at district forums.Seperate cadre of employees working in the forum is also much desired because transfer of employees from forum to other departments makes it very difficult to train the employee tunning to the court system every now and then .

 

 

 

Dr Prem Lata                                                  –

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Consumerism

Package tour-defeciency in services

BEFORE DISTRICT CONSUMERS DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM (V)

(North West District)

CSC-Block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi-110088.

 

Case No.904/2012

Vijay Pal Singh

S/o Sh.Sheo Raj Singh

R/o E-1/9, Budh Vihar,

Phase – I, Delhi.

……….Complainant

 

Versus

Mrs. Ruchi Pandey

W/o Sh. Manoj Pandey,

Director of M/s R.R.Tour & Travels

A – 30, Street No.2,

Madhu Vihar, I.P.Extension

Delhi – 11—92.

……….Respondents/OPs

 

Coram:            SHRI RAKESH KAPOOR, PRESIDENT

DR.PREM LATA, MEMBER

 

 

ORDER

Dr. Prem Lata, Member

The facts as narrated by the complainant in the present case that the complainant allured by the advertisement given by the OP in the various papers and introduced themselves as R.R.Tour & Travels organizing holiday trips for the public at large.  Complainant approached OP for organizing a tour for five days and four nights to Sri nagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgaon and Srinagar for which Rs.10,000/- given in advance vide receipts dated 13.3.2012.   Complainant was informed by OP that Rs.18,054/- shall also be charged for boarding and lodging per head by Air and balance amount shall be paid at the time of boarding time.  The tour was to commence from 22.4.2012 to 26.4.2012. Complainant contacted OP number of times for giving PNR number/Ticket no. and other requisite formalities in respect of the tour but the OP delayed the matter on one pretext or the other, ultimately tour was never booked for him.  Complainant was to avail LTC facility from his office which lapsed and all his colleagues had availed this facility in the due process.  Complainant had undergone a lot of harassment  and OP also retained Rs.10,000/- with him.

In spite of legal notice served upon him on 16.6.2012, no action had been taken by OP for redressal of his grievances.  Complainant approaches this forum for directing the OP to pay a sum of Rs.5 lacs being the amount of damages to the complainant.

OP never appeared after the notices were sent to them.  After few adjournments OP proceeded ex-parte.  Complainant filed evidence by way of affidavit on oath and his arguments were heard.

The document placed on complaint reveals that Rs.10,000/- was paid to R.R.Tour & Travels on 13.3.2012.  A legal notice also served upon Ops for asking them to pay complainant for mental harassment, he has undergone which remains un replied as per the statement of complainant.

We have carefully gone through the documents and all pleadings there is no evidence that Rs.10,000/- was ever returned to the complainant.  The complainant has prayed for lump sum Rs.5 lac and not given break up for such request.  However in the absence of any rebuttal to the allegations we are of the opinion that complainant is entitled to get back his Rs.10,000/- (original receipt placed on the documents).  We therefore direct OP to refund Rs.10,000/- alongwith compensation to the tune of Rs.15,000/- and cost of litigation Rs.5000/- to the complainant.

The above amount shall be paid by OP to the complainant within 30 days from the date of this order failing which  OP  shall be liable to pay interest on the entire awarded amount @ 10% per annum from the date of this order till the date of payment. If OP fail to comply with the order within 30 days, the complainant may approach this Forum u/s 27 of the Consumer Protection Act.

Copy of the order be made available to parties free of cost as per law.

File be consigned to record room.

Announced on…………………….

 

(PREM LATA)                                    (RAKESH KAPOOR)

                        MEMBER                                                       PRESIDENT

 

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Consumerism

Time bound service to citizens

time bound service to the citizens by the departments

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