Fill Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Vacancies In 8 Weeks: Supreme Court Tells Centre, States
It's the third time in two weeks that the Supreme Court has voiced its concern regarding vacancies across courts, tribunals and dispute resolution bodies in India. Today, a bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy ordered all vacancies in the National and State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions to be filled within a maximum period of eight weeks.
The top court passed the order in a suo-motu hearing. It directed the centre, states and union territories to advertise open positions within two weeks and set up selection committees within four weeks so that the process is completed in eight weeks.
Highlighting that vacancies are hurting consumers by delaying redressal of disputes, the bench warned that the union secretary in charge and chief secretaries of states will have to be present in the next hearing if the appointments are not made within the timeline set by the court.
Do not give hope to people if you are not willing to fulfil them. There should be appointments of the required number of people and the states and the centre cannot be treated differently on this issueSupreme Court of India
Further, the court also ordered the union government to conduct a legislative impact study of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 within four weeks.
The selection committee for National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had recommended 8 names for judicial members and 6 names for technical members in June, 2021, as per a note shared in court in another case also pertaining to vacancies. Of these, the government appointed two judicial members and two technical members leaving three posts of technical members vacant as on August 5, 2021.
The Supreme Court in the last two weeks has passed orders against the mounting vacancies across the judicial system.
Last week, a Chief Justice of India-led bench questioned the government over 240 vacancies in 15 tribunals. Soon after, another bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul described the government's attitude towards appointing judges to high courts as ‘recalcitrant’.