Television

Sharad Yadav seeks speedy disposal of CAS cases by consumer courts

NEW DELHI: One more politician has entered the fray! Janata Dal supremo Sharad Yadav, who is also a minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution in the coalition NDA government, has urged the consumer courts to provide speedy redressal to consumers of Conditional Access System (CAS) on cases that might be filed in consumer fora with its introduction from 15 July 2003.

While inaugurating a seminar " Towards a Consumer Friendly Cable TV System" organised by Consumer Unity and Trust Society on Tuesday, the minister said that he had already written a letter to this effect to the president of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in this regard.

"The Government of India brought into effect a very comprehensive and progressive piece of legislation in the form of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 which provided momentum and impetus to the consumer movement in the country. This is a unique Act which provides for simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to consumers against supply of defective goods and deficient services," a Medianet report quoted the minister as saying.

The report also says that Yadav cautioned the consumers and the media to be vigilant and to expose any fraudulent practices by unscrupulous elements in the trade associated with the supply of CAS after its introduction. Only alert consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities can protect themselves besides making consumer sovereignty a reality, he added.

The minister also expressed the hope that the ministry of information and broadcasting which has taken a pro-active role and stepped in to fix the price of free to air channels is taking all care for the smooth introduction of the new system of CAS in implementing the Cable Television Network (Amendment) Act, 2003.

Yadav also pointed out that with the introduction of CAS, consumers might face some problems such as cable operators insisting on installation of Set Top Box (STB) even for free to air channels or not providing proper services. Though the I&B ministry has provided for a complaints redressal mechanism, complainants are free to approach consumer forums for seeking redressal, Yadav suggested.

As per the provisions, the consumer courts are required to dispose of cases as far as possible within a period of 90 days or within 150 days, where testing is required. Till date in these consumer forums 2.02 million cases have been filed out of which 1.67 million cases have been disposed of, which works out to 82.91 per cent, Yadav said.

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