Supreme Court eases norm for Consumer Court

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    The Supreme Court used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 to attract younger talent to preside over consumer courts by reducing the mandatory professional experience from 20 to 10 years.

    Key Highlights of judgment

    • In a judgment, a Bench of Justices also introduced written exams and viva voce to check the candidates’ performance.
      • The written test would have two papers on subjects like current affairs, the Constitution, consumer laws, drafting, etc. There would be a viva voce too.
    • The judgment noted that the government has proposed several amendments to the Consumer Protection (Qualification for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure of appointment, term of office, resignation, and removal of President and Members of State Commission and District Commission) Rules, 2020.
      • The court said its judgment would fill the vacuum until the amendments were made in the 2020 Rules.

    Consumer courts

    • The Indian government has established consumer courts under the Consumer Protection Act to safeguard the interest of consumers.
    •  It is a special-purpose court that deals with consumer complaints, disputes, and grievances. 
      • Consumers can file a case against a seller or service provider if they feel cheated or exploited.
    • The purpose of establishing a separate forum for consumer disputes is to ensure speedy resolution of disputes with minimum inconvenience and expense to consumers.
    • Consumer Courts have proven to be the most effective way to provide a remedy to Consumers and address their grievances. 
      • Filing a complaint is very easy and cost-effective, unlike other forms of litigation.

    Do you Know?

    • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 promulgates a three-tier quasi-judicial mechanism for the redressal of consumer disputes namely district commissions, state commissions, and national commissions. 
    • The Act also stipulates the pecuniary jurisdiction of each tier of consumer commission. 
      • District Commissions have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration does not exceed one crore rupees.
      •  State Commissions have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services paid as consideration, exceeds 1 crore rupees but does not exceed 10 crore rupees and
      •  The National Commission has jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of goods or services paid as consideration exceeds 10 crore rupees.

    Source: TH