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Rsg Share & Stock Brokers Ltd. vs Anju Gupta And Ors. on 18 January, 2002
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avail. That was a case dealing with the powers of National Commissioner constituted under Consumers Protection Act, 1986. In an appeal, the National Commission appointed an arbitrator and referred the matter for his adjudication. It was the National commissioner who was supposed to hear the appeal and instead of discharging its statutory duty, it suo moto delegated the same to the arbitrator which the Supreme Court held to be impermissible as there was no provision in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 permitting the National Commission to adopt such a course. This is what the Supreme Court observed:

proceedings. In the absence of any provision in the Act itself, authorising the Commission to refer a pending proceeding before it, on receipt of a complaint from a consumer, for being settled through a consensual adjudication, the conclusion is irresistible that the Commissions under the Consumers Protection Act do not have the jurisdiction to refer the dispute for a consensual adjudication and then make the said decision of the so called consensual Arbitrator, an order of the Commission itself." 23. This is not the position in the instant case. Here, Section 30 of the Act specifically empowers the arbitral tribunal to encourage settlement with the agreement of parties to use mediation/conciliation or other procedure. The parties in the instant case had agreed for adopting a particular course which was resorted to. It, therefore, does not amount to any abdication of the arbitrator' authority. Such a course was admissible even prior to the enactment of this Act and has been given judicial approval in various cases, quoted by learned counsel for the respondent, some of which are: 1. Gobardhan Das v. Jai Kishen Das reported in I.L.R. 22 All.225. 2. L. Ramu Naidu