Consumer cases in district levels drop 26% in 2020

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 08, 2021
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Covid-induced lockdown could be a reason for the decline cases as the overall buying-selling activities reduced.

State consumer commissions and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) witnessed 60 per cent drop, each, in number of cases filed during 2020 from the previous year, the government said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. However, in district consumer commissions had 26 per cent fall in registered complaints.

Out of 1,04,205 cases filed at district commissions in 2020, only ten states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal – together have 81 per cent share. Experts have suggested in the past to focus on these states for speedy disposal of complaints.

States like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi, where cases are normally high, have recorded more than 60 per cent fall in cases at their respective state commission, the data show. All the state commissions together had 15,547 cases in 2020, down from 38,539 in 2019. At NCDRC, the total number of cases filed was 3,134 last year as against 7,800 in 2019 and 8,992 in 2018.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 provides for the establishment of a three-tier quasi-judicial mechanism – District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and NCDRC, where consumers can file consumer complaints about redressal.

While Covid-induced lockdown could be one reason for the decline in cases as the overall buying-selling activities got reduced while the services industry like tourism and hotel sectors were badly impacted, officials said.

“Awareness and advocacy is done inter-alia through the departmental website, Panchayat Bhavans, Common Service Centers etc. Other Central Government Departments like Ministry of Railways and Department of Posts as also State Governments are involved in dissemination of consumer awareness messages,” the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey said in a written reply.

Published on December 08, 2021

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