Friday, December 2, 2022

Supreme Court directs states to set up mediation centre and workable e-filing centres

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The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice S K Kaul & M M Sundresh directed the States to setup mediation centre & workable e-filing system in Suo-moto Writ petition for appointment of Presidents and Members/Staff of Districts and State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and Inadequate infrastructure across India.

Amicus Curiae Gopal Sankanarayanan stated that they have contacted the central nodal officer who was present in court.

They submitted the Status Report dated 11.04.2022, wherein while most states complied with the orders dated 1st Dec, 2021 & 23rd Feb, 2022 for appointment of nodal officers, a gap was still remaining with Ladakh being in process for appointing nodal officers, all states have reported compliance.

All appointed nodal officers have had a meeting with the Central Nodal officer. On the issue of vacancies, 8 states have filled up the vacancies. The main issue as seen in states of U.P and Bihar in pertinence to Pay scale and suitability, eligibility of presiding officers. For example, a retired district judge appointed as special secretaries should get the pay equal to, if not more than the pay as a district judge as they are getting 60-70% pay cut.

Advertisements were in process for leftover vacancies.
Respondents appearing for North-East States, Nagaland, Tripura & other states stated their respective difficulties in compliance with the orders & sought exceptions for their respective states. Many States filed their affidavits & sought consideration by Amicus & requested the Bench for the same.

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Bench noted the efforts of Counsels for states in compliance with the orders of the court as it is extremely difficult to deal with state governments and administration.

Bench also noted that Reports filed by AMICUS, annexure are also marked including the status report, which has been complied & appreciated the efforts of counsels of state & stated that in some cases absence of certain norms are there, which require consideration by Centre 

Amicus stated that there are some suggestions for future as well, that will be seen later. And stated that they wanted actual requirement & the parameters, states are using. Amicus further stated that Mediation Cells were also not set-up in many states which are compulsory. E-filling system had not been implemented in many states especially the state of Kerala. And also sought details about how the states are deficient of funds & how they have utilised the funds
Bench of Justice S K Kaul & M M Sundresh Ordered that Amicus will analyse the genuineness of the cost, and will not appreciate the non sanction of post unless exception has been provided, such states which seeks exemption for any particular post will be under consideration only unless the amicus allows.  And further granted 15 days time to the States who have not furnished their details yet, & directed their respective secretaries to be present on next day of hearing. 
Bench further directed that “Ld. Amicus has sought our direction in 3 aspects that mediation cells have not been setup, mediation is an important if not at the time but All states are advised to setup mediation centre, e-filing system has not been setup in some of the state and they should be workable within the same time period. Smaller states are mentioned where work is in progress, only Kerela have some issues but Ld counsel for Kerela said all cooperation will be done. Amicus points out that different issue of different infrastructure are still working upon.”
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