Justice a far cry at forum, only one case settled in September in Ludhiana

The case was filed in 2015; ruling comes after four years
Ludhiana, India – : A view of consumer courts, on Wednesday, (Photo Hindustan Times)
Ludhiana, India – : A view of consumer courts, on Wednesday, (Photo Hindustan Times)
Published on Oct 08, 2019 11:03 PM IST
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ByHarvinder Kaur, Ludhiana

The consumers, who knock the doors of the Ludhiana Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, are not getting timely justice if the number of cases disposed of by the forum in September are any indication.

The central online database of consumer forums shows that only one case was decided by the forum in September.

A bench of the forum comprising president GK Dhir and member Jyotsana Thatai disposed of one complaint on September 6, which was lodged by complainant Prabha Gupta against the Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited on September 25, 2015. The bench ruled in favour of the complainant after four years . After the first week of September, no case has been decided by the forum so far.

Section 38 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 states that a complaint after admission (including any case where mediation has failed) must be disposed of within three months of the
date of receipt of the notice by the opposite party where the
complaint does not require analysis or testing of commodities
and within five months if it requires analysis and testing of commodities.

Dhir, president of the Mohali District Consumer Forum, is also holding additional charge of the Ludhiana forum. Due to the absence of a regular president, the consumer court here is held only two days a week on Thursdays and Fridays against five working days a week. “As soon as the forum announces judgment in a case, we upload it on the portal. In September, only one case was disposed of and that was instantly uploaded. Besides, there were around 10 cases where compromises were reached between the parties and cases were withdrawn,” a forum official said. With as many as 2,000 cases pending with the forum, justice is a far cry for consumers.

According to information, the forum, on an average, receives over 80 cases per month and l
ess than 30% of the cases are disposed of.

Balvinder Singh, a resident of Ballowal village, who had moved the forum in 2006 against a city-based doctor alleging medical discrepancies, said he was still waiting for compensation though the case was decided in May.

“The forum had ruled in my favour in May, but I’m yet to receive the compensation. I fought a 13-year-long battle in the forum, but I am still waiting for justice. The forum was constituted for immediate solution of the consumers’ complaints, but it seems to have lost meaning and purpose over the years,” said Balvinder Singh.

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