NEW DELHI: Expressing displeasure over delay in appointments in the districts and state consumer disputes redressal commission, the Supreme Court on Friday said if the government does not want the tribunals, it should abolish the Consumer Protection Act. “If the government doesn’t want tribunals then abolish the act… We are stretching our jurisdiction to see the vacancies are filled in. Normally, we shouldn’t spend time on this and the posts should be filled. Unfortunately, the judiciary is called upon to see that these posts are manned. This is not a very happy situation,” a bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh said. The SC was hearing a suo motu case on the government inaction in appointing president and members/staff of districts and state consumer disputes redressal commission and inadequate infrastructure across India. It directed that the process of filling up vacancies in the state consumer commissions as per its earlier directions must not be impeded by the judgment of Bombay high court which had quashed certain Consumer Protection Rules. Additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi, appearing for the Centre, said the government is in the process of filing an appeal against the Bombay HC order. He said the Tribunal Reforms Act introduced by the Centre was not in contravention rather it was in consonance with the Madras Bar Association judgment of the apex court. The top court said, “It seems that the bench says something and you do something else and some kind of embargo is being created and in this process, the people are suffering. “These are places for remedy like consumer forums. These are small issues that people deal with and these are not high stake matters,” the bench remarked. The SC directed states to submit data in a prescribed form within one week, failing which the concerned secretary has to remain present before it.

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