India’s promise to deliver justice to consumers has been belied with about three and a half lakh cases pending to be resolved in various consumer
courts in the country at the end of April this year. Uttar Pradesh (UP) followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan had the highest number of cases pending in their respective states.
The backlog of cases has been rising by about two percent every year since 2005 even as the number of consumer applications filed for redressal has
grown from 23.5 lakh until December 2005 to 35 lakh until April 2011, representing a near 50 percent increase.
The growth in consumer complaints shows growing consumer awareness about their rights as much as it raises doubts over the efficacy of India being
billed as the prime destination for global consumer brands.
Consumer Affairs Ministry shows that Uttar Pradesh (UP) topped the list of pending cases with about one lakh consumer complaints pending to be
heard. Maharashtra followed with about 35,000 pending cases while Rajasthan and Haryana observed 27,000 pending cases. Gujarat had about
23,000 consumer cases pending April end this year. In contrast, smaller states and union territories, showed a better performance in expeditiously
resolving consumer complaints filed with the courts there.
Rajiv Aggarwal, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, in the Consumer Affairs Ministry, said, “The ministry has taken the cognizance of increasing
cases in consumer courts and we are working to reduce the pending list in consumer courts.” He, however, did not immediately offer any timeframe to
clear the backlog.