There is some good news for those waiting for their turn at various consumer commissions in city and state. Nearly two months after the Supreme Court directed that the process to fill up vacancies at the state and district commissions be completed in 90 days, the state government issued an ad on Tuesday and called applications for the same. The last date to apply is June 6 and the state expects that in another three months time they should have all the appointments in place.
"We are trying our best to fill vacancies as soon as we can. A lot will depend on the kind of response we get as the examination center will change as per that. If the number of applicants is large, we may have to go for a bigger exam center. The landmark SC judgement has paved way for people with other backgrounds, too, and not just those from the legal profession. We want more and more people to apply and are also putting up certain materials like the Act and some case laws for applicants to study and give the exam.
Links are created for the same. Since the examination process also includes a descriptive exam which takes time, the process of evaluation will take longer. The entire process should be complete and we should have filled up all vacancies by three months hopefully," said V Waghmare, secretary, consumer affairs department.
Vacancies should be filled soon
Commission officials said that one could apply and look for exam related materials like the act and case laws on - https://ibpsonline.ibps.in/cpdgommay23/, maharashtra.gov.in and www.mahafood.gov.in. At present, 112 posts are vacant at various district consumer disputes redressal commissions and state consumer disputes redressal commission. The share of district commissions stands at 102 vacant posts while that of the state commission stands at 10. Of all the vacancies at district commissions, 36 vacancies are for the post of presidents while remaining for members. In Mumbai, all four district commissions do not have presidents. The commission requires a quorum for it to function. If a president is not there, additional charge is given to the senior most member but in the absence of a president, even that cannot happen.
Due to lack of a president, all four district commissions in Mumbai are not functioning. In Maharashtra a total of 15 commissions had come to a grinding halt as president posts were vacant. The issue of vacancy arose after the rules to appoint members were challenged. The earlier rules stated that members would require an experience of 15 years to qualify. The SC while deciding on the rules reduced the years of experience from 15 years to 10 and made it uniform for president and members. It stated that anyone with more than 10 years of special knowledge and professional experience can become the president or member after passing both written (descriptive and objective) and interview exams.
Petitioner moves Supreme Court
"They have implemented the order by starting the process and we are hopeful that vacancies will be filled. We have sent a reminder notice to the government," said advocate Vijay Dighe, the petitioner who moved SC.
"It is good that the vacancies are being filled. We hope that cases will be disposed of soon. A case should ideally be disposed of in six months time. However, cases are pending for long. A senior citizen's case has been pending since 2019," said advocate Prashant Nayak whose client did not want to speak to the media.
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