J&K HC to hear, decide pending proceedings, orders passed by CDRC of erstwhile J&K State
Srinagar: “All the pending proceedings and appeals arising out of the orders or awards passed by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRC) of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir shall continue to be heard and decided by J&K High Court,” a division bench of the court said today.
The ruling ensued a case titled Sajad Ahmad Malik v. Divisional Manager, National Insurance Company Ltd. & Anr. The complainant had questioned the jurisdiction of J&K High Court to adjudicate on matters pending in the CDRC in view of its abolition of abolition and extension of the central law.
Justices A M Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul concluded “all the pending proceedings/appeals arising out of the orders or awards passed by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission are to continue to be heard and decided by this Court as if the un-amended provision/Act is still in force”.
The bench, however, made it clear that all the fresh proceedings concerning consumer complaints grievances and appeals shall be dealt with as per the mode and method prescribed in the newly changed scheme of law in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
When the matter of appeal in the case was taken up for hearing on June 04, 2020, advocate N H Khuroo, counsel for respondents, raised an objection as regards the jurisdiction of J&K High Court to hear and decide them in view of the application of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019.
The lawyer argued that the Act has led to repealing of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Consumer Protection Act, 1987 in terms whereof J&K High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals against the orders passed by the Commission.
J A Kawoosa, counsel representing the National Insurance Company vehemently resisted the objection raised by Khuroo pleading that the pending legal proceedings have been saved by a central government order.
“The order declared that the Acts repealed in the manner provided in Table-3 of the Fifth Schedule shall not affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid,” he argued.
The court after hearing the parties said “the Central government has already passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019, Clause (d) to Section 13 whereof clearly saves the pending legal proceedings”.
It said “the competent authority has already saved those investigations, legal proceedings or remedies in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment acquired/accrued/incurred under any law so repealed or in respect of any offence committed against any law so repealed by declaring that it shall be deemed as if the Act (i.e., the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 herein this case) had not been passed”.
It added that an “Act of the Legislature which brought about a change in the scheme of law/forum would not affect pending actions/ proceedings, unless the intention to the contrary was clearly shown in the Act of the Legislature itself. Since, the amending Act does not so envisage, it has to be concluded that the pending appeals/proceedings (before the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019) would not be affected in any manner”.