Consumer Protection Awareness

As discussed here by Hasan , this post is for general awareness about launching a case against any company/service provider in Consumer Courts – which is badly needed as being a Customer.

Background:

As compared to other provinces, Punjab Consumer Protection Act was passed by Punjab Assembly in 2005. N.W.F.P & Balochistan already had their acts passed by respective assemblies but Sindh has yet to pass this act. Despite these acts, no province has been able to practically implement these on ground. Punjab has taken a lead in this and Consumer Courts are functional from past 6 months with very less publicity. Lahore court has registered around 150+ from which 50 has been decided and some cases (A CNG Kit case), the installer has been fined for 1,65,550 PKR.

Act: An electronic copy of complete act and set of rules are available online at http://punjablaws.gov.pk/laws/477.html ; This publication doesn’t need high understanding of law and is in simple words. (at least i was able to go through my rights).

Process:

Couple of weeks ago – A Special Report of The News on this issue covered is this beautifully:

Asif Nazir, Registrar Consumer Court, Lahore, tells TNS that the Section 28 of the Act gives parties a chance to reach a settlement before hearing of the case begins. He says that an aggrieved consumer has to serve a 15-day notice to manufacturer or provider of services that a product or service is defective or faulty. If a remedy is provided, the case can be withdrawn, and vice versa, he adds

He further says that a complaint, accompanied by a copy of the national ID card of the complainant, can be sent directly to the consumer court or through the District Coordination Officer (DCO) of the district concerned. The DCO or some other official notified by the government heads the district consumer council. Such official can himself hear consumers’ complaints and impose fine up to Rs 50,000 on violators of consumers’ rights if they are found guilty.
Where a defendant or the claimant fails or omits to comply with any order made by the consumer court, such defendant or claimant shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than one month which may extend to three years, or with fine not less than Rs 5,000 which may extend to Rs 20,000 or with both.

About the type of cases entertained in Lahore so far he says the highest number of cases were registered against manufacturers of electrical appliances followed by those against CNG rickshaws being given under Punjab government’s self-employment scheme. The complainants grievance is that these rickshaws are highly sub-standard, he adds.

I would strongly recommend few articles from the special report of The News which explains how these courts are working. This is a brilliant step, which will cause major impact on corporations/giants to play fair. Please spread this news to your colleagues and friends as majority of population is unable to read or write but can certainly be benefited from this.

BEWARE: Regarding a case against famous Village Resturant in which the resturant was fined due to poor quality food which affected the customer’s health, a verdict is pending if Consumer Courts can fine food industry. Hopefully the explanation of law would be out soon for this too.

Special Report On Consumer Protection: http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/sep2007-weekly/nos-02-09-2007/spr.htm

Source: The News

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