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NCDRC Pitches In-House Mechanism To Dispose Of Petty Consumer Cases Against PSUs

Published on 30 Oct 2018 by Shivi

To reduce pendency at consumer courts, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) president RK Agrawal has pitched for an in-house mechanism to dispose of consumer cases involving petty amount especially against PSUs and the Railways.

A ceiling on the value of goods and services should also be fixed by the government to ensure there is no further appeal in petty cases in state consumer commissions, which, in turn, will save the time of courts, he said.

“There are many petty consumer cases against PSUs, Railways and other government departments which can be disposed of quickly. The government should fix a ceiling on such cases,” Agrawal said addressing a conference on functioning on consumer courts here.

The cost of litigation in such cases may be far more than the stakes involved, the pendency of these cases cause unending harassment to small consumers also, he said. “It would be better if an in-house mechanism could take care of such petty matters so as to save the quality time of the consumer fora,” Agrawal said without disclosing the number of pendency cases involving petty amount.

READ: How To File A Consumer Complaint In Consumer Forum in India?

Stating that the efficacy of the existing system has taken a “severe beating”, he said it is high time that a serious thought is given to coordinate the activities of all the agencies engaged in the field. The problem of pendency was mainly due to lack of infrastructure, staff strength, more appeals and repeated adjournments, he added.

For speedy disposal of cases, the NCDRC chief said, there is a need to strengthen both qualitatively and quantitatively the capacity of the existing system.

In states where 7,000 cases are pending, two to three additional benches are required, while in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra states commissions where the pendency is more than 18,000, seven or eight additional benches are needed, he said.

On an average, a bench can dispose of 1,000-1,200 cases in a year.

In total, 3,32,462 complaints are pending at district consumer courts, while 20,240 cases pending at the National Commission as on September 25, he added.

Agrawal said, the National Commission has a strength of 12 including the president, but for the last one-and-half years it is working with reduced strength of eight-nine members, as a result of which the pendency has gone up.


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