Courts Update Consumer Court technical support staff moves SC seeking parity...

Consumer Court technical support staff moves SC seeking parity with other judicial forums and national policy

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (ILNS) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court by a group of “technical support staff” working on contractual basis in Consumer Forums/Commissions across India, alleging they are getting “step-motherly” treatment as compared to the staff working with the other judicial forums/commissions such as High Court, District Court, NCLT, NCDRC, Human Rights Commission, NCW etc. 

The petition filed by a group of 234 persons through Advocate-On-Record Om Prakash Parihar, who are employed as “Technical Support Staff” challenging the procedure for appointment in the Consumer Commission and want to be absorbed as permanent staff as per the guidelines laid down in the National Policy and Action Plan document Phase-1 of the e-Courts Project. 

The petitioners mentioned that, all over India, most of the High Courts and District Courts have absorbed their existing technical staff as per the guidelines of the National Policy and action plan documents. But when it comes to various Consumer Forums/Commissions the procedure is different. Firstly they are hired through third party contractor on year to year contractual basis, subject to renewal depending upon the whims and fancies of respective contractor and hence their employment tenure and perks (if any) solely depends upon the contractor. 

Therefore, they are desirous of being treated equally at par to technical support staff, hired and employed by various High Courts and District Courts and to fix their tenure and frame the guidelines accordingly. 

The plea further stated that, “there should be a sole discretion of the President of the District Consumer Commissions and State Commissions to appoint all the staff after consultation with the National or State Commission. The interference of the State Government and the vendors should be stopped in functioning of the Consumer Commission and direct appointments should be made by the department itself.” 

The petitioners pointed out, “that as per the High Court rules, the appointment of staff in the District Court is on the basis of sole discretion of the District Judge and due to which District Courts all over India never face any issue with respect to the shortage of staff due to pending approval from the Governments. Even various other Tribunals, Commissions and other Judicial Bodies are having appointment of technical staff on the basis of the sole discretion of the presiding Judge of that particular court/tribunals and Commissions.”

“The Technical Support Staff of Consumer Forums/Commissions should not be appointed through outsourcing agency as their appointment, tenure and compensation will be solely depended on the whims & fancy of these agency,” it said. 

The plea has sought to direct the respondents to make national policy of E-Committee of the Court applicable to the Consumer Commissions. Further the plea seeks guidelines should be framed by the Apex Court for appointment of staff in the Consumer Commissions and Government interference should be reduced in the appointments. and to direct the respondents to absorb their existing technical staffs/petitioners as per the guidelines laid down in the National Policy and Action Plan document Phase-1 of the e-Courts Project/ILNS/SNG

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