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August 22, 2019

SHC seeks finance, livestock secys’ assistance in consumer protection law case


August 22, 2019

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the finance and livestock secretaries to assist the court with regard to non-payment of salaries to the judicial officers appointed for the consumers courts in Karachi.

The direction came on a petition of Amity International against non-implementation of the consumer protection law. Petitioner Imran Shahzad submitted that 29 consumers courts have been established in the province, however, the salaries of the presiding officers appointed in Karachi have not been paid by the Sindh government.

The court asked a member of the SHC inspection team about the issue who informed it that the budget allocated by the Sindh government in that regard had been sent to the agriculture and livestock departments, after which certain issues had cropped up that needed to be resolved. The petitioner submitted that a consumer protection council also had to be established under the law but no effort had been made so far to implement the law.

A division bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, directed a provincial law officer to call the livestock secretary, the finance secretary and a focal person from the Accountant General to assist the court and adjourned the hearing till August 27.

The petitioner had request the SHC to issue directives for the implementation of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014. He submitted that though the law was notified on March 18, 2015, the government had still failed to set up the consumer protection council to fulfil the command of the Act. Besides, he submitted that it was also a responsibility of the government to notify and establish one or more separate consumer courts in each district to exercise jurisdiction and powers under the Act.

He had further submitted that under the law there had to be a laboratory established by the government for carrying out analysis or test of any goods with the view to determine whether such goods had any defects.

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