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September 13, 2018
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Summary moved for setting up consumer protection courts, SHC told

Karachi

September 13, 2018

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A summary has been moved to the chief minister for the constitution of consumer protection councils and the establishment of consumer protection courts under the relevant law, a provincial law officer told the Sindh High Court on Wednesday.

The court was hearing a petition against the non-implementation of the consumer protection law. Mohammad Tariq Mansoor, who filed the petition for the implementation of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014, submitted that though the law was notified on March 18, 2015, the government had failed to set up consumer protection councils.

Besides, he said, it was also the responsibility of the government to notify and establish one or more consumer courts in each district to exercise jurisdiction and powers under the act.

The petitioner further submitted that under the law there had to be a laboratory which was to be established by the government for carrying out analysis or tests of any goods with view to determining whether such goods had any defects.

At a previous hearing, the Sindh High Court had observed that an undue and unnecessary delay had been caused by the Sindh government in the establishment of consumer courts in the province and directed the chief secretary to inform the court about the deadline for the implementation of the consumer protection law.

The provincial law officer filed a report on behalf of the secretary of the agriculture, supply & prices department, mentioning that some steps were being taken for the implementation of the court directives with regard to the establishment of consumer protection courts.

He submitted that the chief secretary had convened a meeting for the establishment of consumer protection councils and courts and some decisions had been taken for the implementation of the law. He said that the director for the bureau of supply and prices had been notified as authority, besides drawing and disbursing officers had been declared for six consumer courts in Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana and Sukkur.

He maintained that a summary had been moved to the CM for according approval to notifying the constitution of consumer protection councils and courts in the province. He stated that the SHC registrar had been requested to approach the district and sessions judges to accommodate the consumer courts in their respective judicial complexes/courts; besides, private buildings were also under process for acquiring suitable spaces on a rental basis for these purposes.

He added that a proposal for the framing of recruitment rules for the newly created posts of consumer protection courts was being drawn up at the services department.

The law officer submitted that the secretary of the law department had been requested to take up the matter with the chief justice of the SHC for the appointments of six judicial magistrates in Karachi and five other districts and assigning the additional charge for the remaining 23 districts for the expeditious establishment of the courts.

The secretary requested the court to grant further eight to ten months as the deadline for the establishment and complete functioning of consumer courts in the province. A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar granting time and directed the provincial law officer and the secretary concerned to submit the final compliance report on October 11.

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