NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

RESOLUTIONS

Resolutions adopted in the Conference of Hon’ble Ministers along with the Secretaries, Consumer Affairs of States / UTs, and Presidents of State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions on 15th March, 2012 in Hall No.5, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.


The Conference was inaugurated by Prof. K.V. Thomas, Hon’ble Minister, Department of Consumer Affairs. Hon’ble President Shri Justice Ashok Bhan, Hon’ble Member of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Shri Pankaj Agrawala, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs and other functionaries from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Registrar, Joint Registrar and other officers and employees of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Presidents of the State Commissions, Registrars of the State Commissions were present on the occasion. Copies of the speeches of the Hon’ble Minister of State and the Hon’ble President are at Annexure ‘A’ – ‘B’ respectively.
Three books were released thereafter: the first written by Smt. Rajyalakshmi Rao, former Member of the National Commission, titled ‘Consumer is the King’; the second by      Dr. S.C. Mishra of the Indian Institute of Public Administration titled ‘Consumer Protection in India – Policies & Case Studies’ and the third an Act of two Reports by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Business session commenced soon after the inaugural session and the items on the Agenda were taken up for deliberation.  Resolutions passed after the deliberations are indicated against each item.

S.NO.

ITEMS

RESOLUTION

1.

Finalization of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Procedure & Practice Regulation

It was decided to constitute a committee of:

1-  Hon’ble Shri Anupam Dasgupta, Member,
     National Commission.

2-  Hon’ble Shri Justice R. C. Jain, Member,
     National Commission.

3-  Hon’ble President, Kerala State Commission.

4-  Hon’ble President, Punjab State Commission.

5-  Hon’ble President, Bihar State Commission.


Presidents of all State Commissions were requested to forward their comments on the Draft Regulations to the Registrar, Nation Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission within 30 days. The Registrar should complete and place the comments before the Committee headed by the Hon’ble Member Shri Anupam Dasgupta. The Committee would consider the comments and other relevant material and finalize the uniform Regulations for the Consumer Fora, National, State and District.

2.

Training of State Commission / District Forum Members at Judicial Academy of the respective States.

It was resolved that newly inducted Members of the State Commissions and the District Forums should receive appropriate training of adequate duration soon after their appointment.  For this purpose Presidents of the State Commissions would accordingly liaise with the High Courts to tie up the necessary arrangements at State Judiciary Academy after consultation with Chief Secretaries of the State Government, such as accommodation and training facilities at the respective Judicial Academies available for a specific period in a year. The National Commission will also, with the assistance of the IIPA and other institutions, design the training programmes, determine the resource personnel and ensure the availability of the relevant training material. The Draft Regulations, once finalised would be an important input for such training programmes.

3.

Furnishing English translation of orders and documents in local languages

Hon’ble President, National Commission had already requested the Presidents of the State Commission to make available, in pursuance of section 24 B (1) (ii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, English translations of the orders and documents involved in First Appeals and Revision Petitions filed with the National Commission against the orders passed in the local languages of the States by the respective State Commissions/ District Forums. It was decided that this practice, duly envisaged in the Statute itself, should be followed by all the State Commissions. As regards the need to appoint qualified translators and bearing the cost of their remuneration, the Hon’ble President, National Commission agreed to take up the issue with the Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Consumer Affairs at the conference of the Hon’ble State Ministers in-charge of Consumer Affairs, proposed to be convened by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State.Hon’ble President, National Commission had already requested the Presidents of the State Commission to make available, in pursuance of section 24 B (1) (ii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, English translations of the orders and documents involved in First Appeals and Revision Petitions filed with the National Commission against the orders passed in the local languages of the States by the respective State Commissions/ District Forums. It was decided that this practice, duly envisaged in the Statute itself, should be followed by all the State Commissions. As regards the need to appoint qualified translators and bearing the cost of their remuneration, the Hon’ble President, National Commission agreed to take up the issue with the Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Consumer Affairs at the conference of the Hon’ble State Ministers in-charge of Consumer Affairs, proposed to be convened by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State.

4.

Pay and perquisites of Members of State Commissions and District Forums

It was unanimously resolved that the pay scales of full-time Members of the State Commissions and the District Forums should be as applicable to Joint Secretary and Director respectively in the Central Secretariat of the Government of India.It was unanimously resolved that the pay scales of full-time Members of the State Commissions and the District Forums should be as applicable to Joint Secretary and Director respectively in the Central Secretariat of the Government of India.   However, till the finalization of rests by the State Government to bring the pay at par with Joint Secretary and Director, the pay and perk fixed by either State Government of Kerala / Andhra Pradesh / Haryana may uniformly be adopted by other State Government.   As regards the remuneration / honorarium of part-time Members of the State Commission and District Forums, it was resolved to adopt the amounts recommended by the Committee headed by Dr. P. D. Shenoy, former Member of the National Commission (viz., Rs.1000/- as honorarium and Rs.300/- as conveyance allowance per day of sitting to part-time Members of the State Commissions and honorarium of Rs.600/- and conveyance allowance of Rs.150/- per day of sitting to part-time Members of the District Forums).

5.

Declaring the President of State Commission as “Head of Department” and President of District Forum as “Head of Office”

This suggestion was unanimously approved and it was decided that the National Commission would once again take it up with the Hon’ble Ministers of Consumer Affairs of States when the conference mentioned against item no. 3 is convened by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Consumer Affairs.

6.

Provision of Staff for the State Commissions and District Forums

The Conference resolved that the staffing pattern suggested in the report of the Committee headed by Shri S.P. Bagla, former Member, National Commission should be adopted by all States. The States should also, in consultation with the Presidents of the State Commissions, frame the Recruitment Rules for various categories of staff so that the staff appointed become employees of the respective State Commissions/ District Forums and eventually constitute appropriate cadres to facilitate lateral transfers as well as promotions. It was also resolved that the Hon’ble President, National CommissionThe Conference resolved that the staffing pattern suggested in the report of the Committee headed by Shri S.P. Bagla, former Member, National Commission should be adopted by all States. The States should also, in consultation with the Presidents of the State Commissions, frame the Recruitment Rules for various categories of staff so that the staff appointed become employees of the respective State Commissions/ District Forums and eventually constitute appropriate cadres to facilitate lateral transfers as well as promotions. It was also resolved that the Hon’ble President, National Commission  would take up this matter at the Conference of State Ministers to be convened soon by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Consumer Affairs.

7.

Building and Other Infrastructure for State Commissions and District Forums

After reviewing the availability of permanent / built-up accommodation for the State Commissions and the District Forums, Shri Pankaj Agrawala, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs stated that the scheme of Central Assistance for this purpose would continue in the XII Five Year Plan commencing on 01.04.2012. Hence, the financial assistance on the pattern available during the XI Plan would also be available during the XII Plan. He further clarified that wherever the requirement of funds, in view of difficult ground conditions, was higher than that permitted according to the revised cast norms, proposals may be sent by the State Commission with detailed justification. Such proposals would be favourably considered by the Government of India, Department of Consumer Affairs. Shri Agrawala specifically agreed with the need to provide compound walls and drinking water facilities at all locations where independent buildings were constructed for the State Commissions/ District Forums.After reviewing the availability of permanent / built-up accommodation for the State Commissions and the District Forums, Shri Pankaj Agrawala, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs stated that the scheme of Central Assistance for this purpose would continue in the XII Five Year Plan commencing on 01.04.2012. Hence, the financial assistance on the pattern available during the XI Plan would also be available during the XII Plan. He further clarified that wherever the requirement of funds, in view of difficult ground conditions, was higher than that permitted according to the revised cast norms, proposals may be sent by the State Commission with detailed justification. Such proposals would be favourably considered by the Government of India, Department of Consumer Affairs. Shri Agrawala specifically agreed with the need to provide compound walls and drinking water facilities at all locations where independent buildings were constructed for the State Commissions/ District Forums.

8.

Disposal of cases by National Commission / State Commissions/ District Forums

After a detailed review of the pendency of cases with various State Commissions and the District Forums in the States, Hon’ble President, National Commission emphasized the need for expeditious appointment of Members of the National Commission, State Commissions and District Forums as the first pre-requisite for quicker disposal and reduction of pendency of cases. With respect to States of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, etc., where the pendency was still very high, Hon’ble President, National Commission emphasized the need to constitute adequate number of additional Benches considering that, on an average, a Bench of a State Commission consisting of two Members could not be expected to dispose of more than 1000 cases in a full year.After a detailed review of the pendency of cases with various State Commissions and the District Forums in the States, Hon’ble President, National Commission emphasized the need for expeditious appointment of Members of the National Commission, State Commissions and District Forums as the first pre-requisite for quicker disposal and reduction of pendency of cases. With respect to States of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, etc., where the pendency was still very high, Hon’ble President, National Commission emphasized the need to constitute adequate number of additional Benches considering that, on an average, a Bench of a State Commission consisting of two Members could not be expected to dispose of more than 1000 cases in a full year.

Hon’ble President, National Commission agreed to take up this matter once again at the proposed Conference of the State Ministers of Consumer Affairs.

9.

Computerisation and Maintenance of Computer Software and Hardware

Smt. Ranjana Nagpal, Technical Director, National Informatics Centre (NIC) informed the Conference that the CONFONET Project would be continued during the XII Plan Period. Additional funds for replacement/ up-gradationSmt. Ranjana Nagpal, Technical Director, National Informatics Centre (NIC) informed the Conference that the CONFONET Project would be continued during the XII Plan Period. Additional funds for replacement/ up-gradation  of the hardware at the District and State levels, enhancement of connectivity bandwidth and making the entire system fully on-line would made be available during the XII Plan period and technical man-power support would also be provided.


The Conference ended with presentation of a summary of the discussions and vote of thanks to all by Shri Anupam Dasgupta, Member, National Commission.

 

 

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