KARACHI, Feb 16: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad promulgated “The Sindh Consumers Protection Ordinance-2007” on Friday which has come into force at once.
The ordinance is aimed at promoting and protecting the rights and interests of consumers and make provisions for the establishment of the ‘consumer rights protection council’ and ‘consumers tribunals’, besides tackling other related matters.
The ordinance states that every person – businessman, trader manufacturer, supplier, as the case may be – shall comply with the market standards in respect of any particular goods or service, if any; ensure that the composition, contents, methods of manufacture, processing, design, construction, finishing, packaging, storage, handling of the goods are safe or are not likely to be a source to cause harm or injury to any person; and ensure that the instructions for such safe use, handling, packaging, storage and consumption are clearly displayed as to bring them clearly to the notice of any consumers or any prospective consumer.
If any businessman, company, firm, person, manufacturer or trader, supplies or attempts to supply any defective goods or deficient services or practices; or attempts to practice any unfair trade practices; or makes or attempts to make any false or misleading representation or violates any provision of this ordinance, such businessman, company, firm person, manufacturer or trader shall be liable to pay compensation to the complainant as the consumer tribunal may direct.
Where goods are supplied to a consumer, there shall be implied guarantee that the manufacturer and the supplier will take reasonable action to ensure that facilities for the repair of the goods and the supply of spare parts (of the same standard and quality as the original parts) for the goods are reasonably available for a reasonable period after the goods are so supplied.
Every manufacturer of consumer goods shall publish or mark on every packet or container the maximum retail prices, the nature, standard or type and the detail of ingredients used in the manufacture of goods, the weight, size or volume, date of manufacture and expiry, as the case may be, and have regard to the commercial practice in relation to those goods the name and address of the manufacturer or in the case of a packer or importer of the trade thereof.
EDO (Revenue) or a person who is qualified to be appointed as EDO (Revenue) shall be appointed by government as consumer tribunal.
The government shall publish a notification in the official gazette, establish as many consumer tribunals as it considers necessary; and where more than one such tribunals are established, it shall specify the territorial limits within which each such tribunal shall exercise jurisdiction under this ordinance.
No court other than the consumer tribunal shall have or exercise any jurisdiction with respect to any matter to which the jurisdiction of the tribunal extends under this ordinance.
Subject to the provisions of this ordinance, the consumer tribunal shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant or any of the defendants actually resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.
A complaint shall be filed within 30 days of the arising of the cause of action or within such time as the consumer tribunal may allow on being satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing the complaint in time. But no extension shall be allowed beyond a period of 60 days from expiry of the warranty or guarantee period specified by the manufacturer or service provider and if no period is specified, one year from the date of purchase of the products or providing of services.
A consumer who has suffered loss or damage on account of violation of any provision of this ordinance may be issued written notice calling upon a manufacturer or provider of services to remedy the defect or compensate for the damage.
The manufacturer or service provider shall within a fortnight settle the claim. If after hearing both the parties, the consumer tribunal is satisfied that there has been violation of the provisions of this ordinance, it shall pass an order directing the defendant to take one or more of the actions; namely to remove defect from the goods in question, to replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from any defect; to return to the complainant to provide services that would have been provided to the consumer, if there had been no violation of the provisions of this ordinance and to pay 10 per cent of the price or, as the case may be, as charges/compensation to the consumer for any loss suffered by him.
If the defendant fails to comply with the order of tribunal within 30 days, or as the case may be, after expiry of appeal period, the amount awarded by it, shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue and paid to the consumer.
According to the ordinance, no court fee shall be payable on filing of a complaint or appeal.
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