SHC directs expediting legislation on consumer protection

Karachi: The Sind High Court SHC on Tuesday directed provincial government to expedite the process of legislation on consumer protection in the province.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam was seized with the petition of Rana Faiz ul Hassan, representing the nongovernmental organization United Human Rights Commission seeking legislation on consumer protection.

The court observed that matter has been pending on the docket Treasury Bench for a considerable time and when the legislation relates to the public welfare and goods it is received with cold feet, however, it is a matter of judicial notice and notice of the public at large, it becomes law when it suits political exigency like Local Government Ordinance, which is passed within on time.

It said that it was expected that before running out of the time the provincial government shall do the needful for the welfare of the people. The court ruled, “Let the expectation of the court be communicated to the chief secretary and the secretary, law department, government of Sind, to expedite the matter without further delay.

The petitioner stated that no legislation was ever done in the province by any government in the past that caused exploitation of consumers in urban and rural areas where they were being fleeced by traders.

He submitted that the district coordination officers in Punjab were authorised to take immediate action against such retailers if found involved in selling substandard items, but such a law did not exist in Sind.

He submitted that consumer protection laws had been enacted in all provinces except Sind, and prayed to the court to direct the government to make legislation in order to provide protection to citizens against substandard commodities.

Earlier, the court had directed the law secretary to convene a meeting of all stakeholders in 30 days so that all concerns of the stakeholders could be addressed. It had further directed that process of legislation be expedited.