Supreme Court eases norm for selection of consumer court presidents, members

Source: The post is based on the article “Supreme Court eases norm for selection of consumer court presidents, members” published in The Hindu on 4th March 2023.

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 to attract younger talent to preside over consumer courts by reducing the mandatory professional experience from 20 to 10 years.

What is Article 142 of the Constitution?

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What was the case about?

The Government of India released the Consumer Protection Rules, 2020 that govern the appointment of the President and members of State and District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions.

The rules prescribed a minimum experience of not less than 20 years for the appointment of the president and members of the State Commission.

The High Court had held that the minimum experience condition is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution and quashed them.

This judgment prompted the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs to file the appeal before the Supreme Court.

What did the Supreme Court rule?

The Supreme Court said that the High Court was right in striking down the rules.

It said as per Article 233 of the Constitution, a lawyer needs to have only 7 years of practice as an advocate in the High Court. Under the circumstances providing 20 years’ experience is rightly held to be unconstitutional, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. 

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