The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up states and Union Territories for not complying with an order to appoint nodal officers to facilitate the use of allocated funds for improving the infrastructure of consumer commissions, reported PTI.
“We will have to be merciless to make you understand,” said a bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh. The court imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the states and Union Territories which did not file a compliance affidavit.
In its order passed on December 1, the court had set aside money for the development of infrastructure in Districts and State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, saying it must be utilised by taking up as many projects as required so that the funds would not lapse, according to PTI.
The court had also directed central and state governments to appoint nodal officers within a week to coordinate and help empowered committees utilise the funds effectively.
The bench on Wednesday said that states did not pay heed to the schedule laid down by the court. The court said that it had expected things would change as it had mentioned the significance of the time period.
“States must bear the consequences of not complying with the order of this court within the stipulated time,” the bench observed.
Amicus curiae Aditya Narain, who is assisting the court in the matter, said that 22 states and Union Territories had filed compliance reports, while 12 states are yet to nominate nodal officers.
The Supreme Court granted four more weeks for states and Union Territories to comply with its orders and listed the matter for further hearing on April 12.
It said state secretaries will have to be present in court if orders are not complied with.
On November 10, the court had sought status reports from the states in a week’s time on vacancies in the Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions.