The recent Air India controversy has again brought to the fore the apathy towards consumer complaints in India. While pendency rates in consumer courts are better than the usual courts, a Business Standard analysis found that one in five of the 2.5 million cases across consumer forums were pending. Till December 2022, 20.5 per cent of the 106,088 cases filed at the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) were pending, whereas the pendency at 35 state and 637 district commissions was 22 per cent (chart 1). Last year was better as the disposal of cases was higher than the institution of cases at the NCDRC. But only three times in the past 16 years have more cases been disposed of by the national commission than were instituted during the year (chart 2). In terms of pendency, 10 states had a pendency rate of 30 per cent or higher. Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar had a pendency rate of over 50 per cent (chart 3).
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First Published: Sun, January 15 2023. 16:52 IST