DEHRADUN: Close to 38% of positions in consumer forums of the hill state are lying vacant, reply to an RTI query has revealed. " The state consumer forum is just left with one member which is short of the quorum halting the decisions on consumer issues since August 1, 2019," said Nadimuddin, Kashipur based RTI activist.
The reply added that 16 positions are vacant across the state forums out of which 14 are in district forums while two are vacant in Uttarakhand State Consumer Forum against the total sanctioned 42 positions.
Each district forum and state forum has three members each. All forums should have the chairperson and at least one member for hearing and deciding consumer related cases and claims.
Matters related to claims of Rs 20 lakh and above are decided in state consumer forum which also hears appeals from district consumer forums.
Out of total 13, three district forums- Udham Singh Nagar, Almora and Rudraprayag have not been functioning for 6-18 months.
Almora district forum is not functioning since September 2019 while Udham Singh Nagar district forum is not functioning since October 2019. Rudraprayag district forum is shut down since October 2018.
Almora, Udham Singh Nagar and Rudraprayag districts have two positions each vacant while one position is vacant in Nainital, Pithoragarh, Dehradun, Tehri, Pauri, Champawat, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.
Sanjana Mehta, a resident of Almora who has filed a case against a textile company for claims on a defective product said, "My case is not being decided because the district consumer forum is defunct since September 2019. The district administration and the state government should resolve related issues to the forums."