The modestly ‘Educated Youth’ are mainly struggling with ‘Unemployment Problem’. Thus, there is an immense & immediate need to explore the hidden & disguised opportunities for creating new avenues having scope for engaging the educated youth, without any burden on Government Exchequer.
Similar to that of the professions like the “Income Tax Practitioner” under Income Tax Act & Rules, and like the “Goods & Services Tax Practitioners” under GST Act & Rules, there is scope to create new profession like the “Consumer Disputes Practitioner”, so as to encourage “Educated Un-employed Youth” to take up a Dignified Self-Employment.
The present District Consumer Fora, State and National Consumer Commissions are governed by the Consumers Protection Act, 1986 & relevant Rules. Yet, The District Consumer Fora in a State and the State Consumer Commission of a State are established by, and functioning under the control of that respective State Government.
To decide the scope to create new profession like the “Consumer Disputes Practitioner”, so as to encourage modestly “Educated Un-employed Youth” to take up a Dignified Self-Employment, now we need to revert to study the essential stipulations & provisions laid under the present Consumers Protection Act, 1986 and the Rules made therefor.
The composition of the Committee of every District Forum is (as per Section 10 of the Consumers Protection Act, 1986), to have Three Judges/Members. The President among those Three Judges/Members of the District Forum needs to be qualified to be a District Judge, and remaining Two Members are, apart from desired experience, just to possess any Bachelor’s Degree from a Recognized University.
The District Consumer Fora are not supposed to encourage Advocates or Lawyers, but must encourage those Consumer Complainants or Opposite Parties who represent their cases themselves in person or by authorizing their Friends or Relatives as their “Authorized Agent” (without engaging any Advocate or Lawyer).
It is specifically emphasized in Sub-rule (4) of Rule 26 of the Consumer Protection Rules, 2005 that the Consumer Forum shall not insist upon the parties to engage advocates.
The Sub-rule (3) of Rule 26 of the Consumer Protection Rules, 2005 emphasizes that the Consumer Forum shall give proper respect and courtesy to the parties who appear in person and shall provide separate accommodation in the Hall for the convenience of the parties.
It is specifically emphasized in Sub-rule (1) of Rule 26 of the Consumer Protection Rules, 2005 that in all proceedings before the Consumer Forum, endeavor shall be made by the parties and their agents/counsel to avoid the use of provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).
The Consumer Complainant can tackle his/her case, without engaging an Advocate or Lawyer, by representing themselves before the Consumer Forum Committee (i.e., President & other two Members), or through their Friend or Relative by authorizing as his/her Agent as per Sub-rule (b) of Rule 2 of the Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Protection Rules, 1987. This creates the scope to allow any person to act as a Consumer Disputes Practitioner/Authorized Representative for & on behalf of the Consumer Complainant or Opposite Party.
In the light of the above statutes laid under the Present Act and Rules, these pave the way of every possibility to create scope for new dignified profession as “Consumer Disputes Practitioner/Authorized Representative” for acting/representing before the District Forum or State Commission or National Committee on behalf of the Consumer Complainant or Opposite Party, by simply
incorporating a New Section in the ensuing/New Consumer Protection Act prescribing as “any person possessing any Bachelor’s Degree” to act as, and under the Rules to be framed therefor, for the creation of the “Consumer Disputes Practitioner/Authorized Representative”.
SYEDA KHADERBI, M.A., M.Com., [LL.B.],
Regd. ITP & GSTP