Saturday, May 22, 2010

Empowering the National Consumer and Redressal Commission

Friday, May 21, 2010
Creation of two additional posts of Members in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (National Commission) approved

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal of creation of two additional posts of Members in the National Commission, one from judicial background and one from non-judicial background for the establishment of one additional Bench for a period of five years. This would not only enable early clearance of backlog of cases pending before the National Commission but also help bring about speedier disposal of fresh cases received in the National Commission.

Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, a three-tier Consumer Disputes Redressal machinery has been established in the country with the `National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’ (NCDRC) popularly known as the `National Commission’, as the apex body at national level, State Commissions below it at State/Union Territory level and District Fora at the district level.

At present, the National Commission consists of the President and nine other Members, with five Benches set up in the Commission with a disposal of almost 88% of the cases.

The National Commission has been receiving around 450 fresh cases each month and the rate of disposal is 600 cases each month. Going by the present rate of disposal with the existing strength, the existing backlog of nearly 8000 cases can be cleared earliest by another four and a half years. NCDRC is also presently not in a position to fully dispose of cases within the time norms mentioned in the Consumer Protection Act. ****SH/LV/SKS
Creation of two additional posts of Members in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (National Commission) approved

I injured my knee in a game of football on 31st December 1997. It was diagnosed as ACL TEAR. For that I was operated upon in the knee on 2nd March 1998. After the operation my knee developed stiffness, which is unusual in such cases even after undergoing physiotherapy for two months I was unable to bend or straighten my knee. So after two months of operation my knee was manipulated under anesthesia to relieve stiffness. A plaster was put on the knee for one month. I was told to start walking . I used to walk with a limp. For about 8 months I continued to walk with a limp but then my condition deteriorated & in March-99 I had to start using crutches to move around. To find out the cause of this pain I underwent investigative arthoscopy in June-99 which revealed the following 1. ACL Laxity 2. meniscus tear 3. patellofemoral osteoarthritis . I was advised by the doctor to do physiotherapy, and take painkillers for the pain, I am still doing physiotherapy, but neither the pain has reduced nor am I able to walk without crutches, this whole experience has affected my life badly. Can I sue the doctors for negligence / inefficiency. My both operations were carried out in military hospitals, and they were done free of cost since I am serving in army. So I can not go to Consumer protection court. Please advise?.
You can file a writ petition in the High Court of judicature against the hospital, making doctors responsible for your condition a party. You can also seek damages alongwith the appropriate action against the doctors and the management in the writ petition.
To read more of Sample Questions and Answers on consumer protection- click here

Do Indian Military Welfare Organisations like ECHS, CSD, AWWA, AWHO, AWES and the rest come under the Indian Consumer Protection Act and do they exhibit transparency in their functioning?
Click here for present status and views on Army Welfare Organisations
Can we tune up the Military Welfare Organisations?
Major D S Bisht (Retd) was commissioned into 7th Battalion, The Jat Regiment on 30 Jun 1963. Presently, he is working for Central Himalayan Institute at Dehradun which has been established to undertake studies for good governance and development to strengthen national security. His essay is thought provoking and if his suggestions are implemented it is bound to improve the morale of serving Jawans and the ESM.
Journal of the United Service Institution of India, Vol. CXXXVIII, No. 573, July-September 2008.
Welfare of Armed Forces Personnel by Major D S Bisht (Retd)

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