WP 1141 of 1988 & 742 of 1990
Consumer Protection Act, 1986, approachability of consumer forums

Summary :

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides a three-tier form comprising the District Forum, State Commission and National Commission for redressal of grievances of consumers.

Common Cause has contended the lack of implementation of the guidelines issued on January 17, 1990 pertaining to the implementation of Section 9 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as the District Forum had not been set up in all the districts except a few.

The Court noted that the progress on establishing the District Forums was slow and once the ad-hoc arrangement is done, the formation of District Forum acquired the back seat. Even when they have been established in certain districts, there was absence of proper accommodation or adequate staff.

The Hon’ble Court directed that wherever a sitting District Judge was functioning as the President of a District Forum, if the workload exceeded the monthly load of 150 cases consistently for a six month period, the High Court would convey the same to the State Government/Union Territory Administration and within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the communication, a regular independent District Forum as envisaged by section 9 of the Act shall be appointed. Furthermore, districts where the workload did not exceed, the ad-hoc arrangement may continue for one year, during which period the steps to constitute an independent District Forum must be accomplished.