Srinagar, June 22 (GNS): All appeals pertaining to erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission shall continue to be heard by J&K High Court, its division bench ruled on Monday.
However, the division bench comprising Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul made it clear that all the fresh proceedings concerning consumer complaints or grievances as well as the appeals shall be dealt with as per the mode and method prescribed in the newly changed scheme of law in the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The court was hearing appeals against the orders passed by the commission and advocate N. H. Khuroo, counsel appearing on behalf of the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., raised objection as regards the jurisdiction of the Court to hear and decide these appeals in view of the application of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019 in the erstwhile State, leading to repealing of the previous Consumer Protection Act, 1987.
Referring to Section 17 of the erstwhile J&K Consumer Protection Act 1987, advocate Khuroo said that since the Act stands repealed with the application of the J&K Reorganization Act 2019, as such, the high Court has no jurisdiction to hear the appeals.
However, advocate J. A. Kawoosa, counsel representing the National Insurance Company Ltd., vehemently resisted the objection raised by advocate Khuroo regarding continuation of hearing of these matters which were pending for hearing before the Court prior to the repealing of the J&K Kashmir Consumer Protection Act. He pleaded that although the Parliament repealed J&K State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, in terms of the Reorganization (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019 dated 30th of October 2019, it has saved the pending legal proceedings by declaring that the Acts repealed …shall not affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment.
The court answered the contentions in detail and ultimately reached to “undisputable conclusion that all the pending proceedings/ appeals arising out of the orders or awards passed by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission are to continue to be heard and decided by this Court as if the unamended provision/ Act is still in force.”
“Therefore, the question raised by Mr Khuroo regarding jurisdiction of this Court to hear and decide these pending appeals shall stand answered accordingly,” the court said as per Global News Service, adding, “We, however, make it clear here that all the fresh proceedings concerning consumer complaints/ grievances as well as the appeals thereon shall be dealt with as per the mode and method prescribed in the newly changed scheme of law in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh,
i.e., the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, as provided in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.” (GNS)