Madras HC bins food department's notifications for appointment to consumer panels
Once the striking down of the rules is upheld by the SC, it would necessarily date back to the judgement of the Bombay HC i.e., September 14, 2021.
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday quashed two notifications issued by the Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection Department of Tamil Nadu on July 17, 2022, inviting applications for the appointment of members for the district consumer redressal commission and non-judicial members to state consumer disputes redressal commission.
A bench of justices R Subramanian and L Victoria Gowri passed the order on the ground that the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, on September 14, 2021, had struck down certain portions of the Consumer Protection (Qualification for Appointment, Method of Recruitment, Procedure of Appointment, Term of Office, Resignation and Removal of President and Member of the State Commission and District Commission) Rules, 2020, based on which the two notifications had been issued.
The judges further pointed out that though the Supreme Court took the decision only in 2023, it had not granted any interim order suspending the operation of the Nagpur Bench’s order in the interregnum and therefore, the rules relating to experience- Rules 3(2)(b), 4(2)(c) and 6(9)-having been struck down, did not exist in the statute book on the date when the Tamil Nadu government issued the notifications calling for appointments.
“Once the striking down of the rules is upheld by the SC, it would necessarily date back to the judgement of the Bombay HC i.e., September 14, 2021. The notifications in issue having been issued after the date, cannot be sustained,” the judges held.