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 Justice DS Thakur directed the officials to finalize the issue and report compliance by submitting notifications on reconstitution of the Commissions and Forums.
Observing that on November 13, the Court had directed the Chief Secretary to inform it within a week about the steps taken for setting up the Commissions and Forums for the two UTs of J&K and Ladakh, the Court said the government had sought more time when the matter came up for hearing on 20 November.
The Court said it granted the time after the counsel representing the government produced a communication addressed by additional Secretary, Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.
In the communication, the Court said, the department had taken up the matter with the Department of Law for seeking their advice on issuing the notifications to re-constitute the Commission and the Forums.
The Court said it had granted two weeks time to the government with the hope that on next date of hearing the authorities concerned would come up with the notifications.
“But the hope has turned into despair because of the failure of 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 counsel representing the government has sought more time to file compliance.
It held that the respondents need to realize the importance of the issue involved in the matter and take steps required for regulation of the pending cases.
The Commission and the Forums were winding up as Jammu and Kashmir Re-organization Act, 2019 was implemented in J&K on October 31. At least 2,500 cases are said to be pending before the Commission.