SC exempts ex-HC judges from test for appointments as state consumer panel heads | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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SC exempts ex-HC judges from test for appointments as state consumer panel heads

ByAbraham Thomas
Mar 08, 2024 08:29 AM IST

The court sought suggestions from the government on making the selection procedure for members of district and state consumer commissions objective

The Supreme Court has exempted former high court judges from taking a mandatory test for appointments as heads of state consumer commissions. It has sought suggestions from the Union government on making the selection procedure for members of district and state consumer commissions “objective and fair”.

A Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud-led bench passed the order. (ANI)
A Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud-led bench passed the order. (ANI)

The court noted that removing the examination criteria could give “back door entry” to ineligible persons and vest “unbridled discretion” in the hands of the state.

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A Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud-led bench passed the order on Thursday while considering a batch of appeals challenging a September 2023 notification making it mandatory for heads and members of state and district consumer forums to clear a written exam on topics, including general knowledge.

The notification was issued as per a March 2023 Supreme Court judgment mandating such a test. Last month, the court suggested the government consider amending the regulation as the examination proved to be a hurdle in filling up vacant posts.

The government last week filed an application expressing its willingness to amend the rules as the examination was neither “feasible” nor “desirable”. It recommended that presidents of state and district consumer commissions should be exempted from taking the examination and suggested broadening the selection committee headed by chief justices of the respective high court in selecting heads and members of district and state consumer forums.

Under the existing rules, former high court judges are eligible to be presidents of state consumer forums.

The CJI observed, “This is an impossible condition as you cannot have a person to work as president of state commissions. Also, it is not possible asking a former high court judge to take the examination. It is like asking a former Supreme Court judge to take a test on environment before being appointed as president of national green tribunal.”

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