The High Court has directed Secretary Food Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution (FCA&PD) and Secretary Law to appear in person if they failed to notify by December 18 re-constitution of J&K Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and District Consumer Forums for disposing of complaints and appeals pending before these panels.
A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and JusticeDS Thakur directed the officials to finalize the issue and report compliance bysubmitting notifications on reconstitution of the Commissions and Forums.
Observing that on November 13, the Court had directed theChief Secretary to inform it within a week about the steps taken for setting upthe Commissions and Forums for the two UTs of J&K and Ladakh, the Courtsaid the government had sought more time when the matter came up for hearing on20 November.
The Court said it granted the time after the counselrepresenting the government produced a communication addressed by additionalSecretary, Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.
In the communication, the Court said, the department hadtaken up the matter with the Department of Law for seeking their advice onissuing the notifications to re-constitute the Commission and the Forums.
The Court said it had granted two weeks time to thegovernment with the hope that on next date of hearing the authorities concernedwould come up with the notifications.
"But the hope has turned into despair because of the failureof the respondents to show any progress on expected lines," the Court said,adding delay in the matter was only adding to sufferings of the litigants.
Dismayed over the delay, the Court said the counselrepresenting the government has sought more time to file compliance.
It held that the respondents need to realize the importanceof the issue involved in the matter and take steps required for regulation ofthe pending cases.
The Commission and the Forums were winding up as Jammu andKashmir Re-organization Act, 2019 was implemented in J&K on October 31. Atleast 2,500 cases are said to be pending before the Commission.