Srinagar: The high court has directed the government to fill up the post of President and a Member of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission within three weeks.
A division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal to ensure hearing of cases at Srinagar at least once every week.
“The executive wing of the government is duty bound to provide redressal mechanism to the people for which legislative enactment is already in force. The litigant public cannot be left without redressal forum,” the court said, observing that the inaction on part of the state government in not supplying the vacancies was “tantamount to denial of the justice to the people of the state.”
“We, accordingly direct the state (government) through its chief secretary to take immediate steps for supplying the vacancies of (President) and Member of the commission. The commission shall be made functional within three weeks from the date copy of the order is received by the respondent state,” the court said.
The directions followed submissions by president Kashmir High Court Bar Association Mian Qayoom that the post of president and the member were vacant for more than three months and that no steps have been taken by the government to fill them up so far.
“Besides other cases, 1200 cases pertaining to the flood victims are pending before the commission and the people have been left without any redressal mechanism,” Qayoom said.
Interestingly, the Commission has been designated as the State Food Commission under National Food Security Act (NFSA) by the state government.
It is headless for more than months after Justice (retd.) BA Kirmani was appointed as a member of the State Accountability Commission while Shabnum Munshi, a member of the body, completed her term on January 11 this year.
Qayoom also brought to court’s notice that Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal was non-functional as its chairman, Pramod Jain, is not holding the court at Srinagar for the past nearly three months. He said no executive or judicial member is available at Srinagar either.
“At Special Tribunal, Jammu, not only the Chairman holds the court regularly, but the other two members, executive and judicial, are also available there and they are functioning smoothly over there.”
He said that due to non-functioning of the tribunal at Srinagar, the litigants are suffering badly.
“We direct chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal to ensure hearing of cases at least once in every week at Srinagar also,” the court said.
It also directed the chairman of the Tribunal to pass orders within a week so that one of its members holds the court at Srinagar at least once in a week.