Consumer Protection Laws In Pakistan

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     Punjab Consumer Protection Act 2005 (PCPA)

A civilized society believes in the fundamental importance of Consumer Protection

Who is a consumer?

In consumer protection laws in Pakistan Section 2(c) of the PCPA,2005 defines the term “Consumer” as under:
Buys or obtains on lease any product for a consideration and includes any user of such product but does not include a person who obtains any product for resale or for any commercial purpose; or
Hires any services for a consideration and includes any beneficiary of such services

What are consumer rights?

According to the UN guidelines on consumer protection (1985), a consumer has eight basic rights, which are as follows;

Right to Basic
Right to Safety
Right to be Informed
Right to Choose
Right to Representation / be Heard
Right to Redress
Right to Consumer Education
Right to Healthy Environment

How can consumer rights be protected?

Only enactment and enforcement of the law by the Government does not serve. It always requires enthusiastic response from the citizen’s side. The consumers should register their complaints in the Consumer Courts or before Authority, as the case may be to mark the power of consumers and to protect their rights.

Which remedies are available?

In consumer protection laws in Pakistan on violation of any provision of the Act, consumer may file a claim for damages in Consumer Court for which no court fee is required.

For redress of following grievances consumer can file complaint before Authority:
Non issuance of receipt
Non exhibition of price list
Non mentioning of date of manufacturing, expiry or ingredient
Non disclosures of qualification

To whom a complaint can be made?

Complaints can be made to;
Consumer Court
Authority (District Coordination Officer)

What is the procedure of filing a complaint to get damages?

In consumer protection laws  in Pakistan Serve a fifteen (15) day legal notice on plain paper,  to the provider of defective products or faulty services as the case may be, stating therein that he will redress the damage suffered by consumer due to defective products or faulty services and consequently pay damages to the consumer within fifteen days of receipt of legal notice, otherwise the consumer can file a claim for damages in the Consumer Court.
Legal notice should be served through acknowledgement.

If matter is not resolved through legal notice then consumer can file a claim for damages in the Consumer Court within subsequent fifteen days Claim can be filed by the consumer himself or through a lawyer

What does damages mean?

“Damage” means all damage caused by a product(s) or service(s) including damages to the product itself and economic loss arising from a deficiency in or loss of use of the product(s) or service(s).

What are the obligations of manufacturers?

In consumer protection laws in Pakistan the manufacturer of a product shall be liable to the consumer for damages caused by a characteristic of the product that renders the product defective when such damage arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product by a consumer.

What are the obligations of service providers?

A provider of service shall be liable to a consumer for damages approximately caused by the provision of service that have caused damages.

How much damages can a consumer claim?

Consumer can file a claim for damages before a Consumer Court. Damages can be claimed according to sufferings or losses. There is no limit in this regard.

What are the things consumers should observe to protect their rights?

Consumers should observe the following in order to protect their rights;
Check date of manufacturing / expiry of the products before purchase
Read ingredients / component parts / instructions of the product(s) / services
Insist about rate list / price  of products / services
Always get receipt of products / services purchased / hired
Ask for the capabilities or qualifications of the service provider, along-with the quality of the tools he intends to use for provision of the services,
Ask about return and refund policy
Check design and standard of the products
Check for the product’s safety / warning

Is there any remedy available against bait advertisement?

Yes, Bait advertisement is covered under Section-22 of the Act.

Can consumer lodge complaint against an astronomer?

No, detailed answer is provided in Section 2(k) of the Act which is as under:-
“services” includes the provision of any kind of facilities or advice or assistance such as provision of medical, legal or engineering services but does not include–
The rendering of any service under a contract of personal service;
The rendering of non-professional services like astrology or palmistry; or
A service, the essence of which is to deliver judgment by a court of law or arbitrator.

Is there any limitation for filing a complaint in court?

Yes, 30 day from arising of cause of action.

Is there any pre-requisite for filling a claim in courts?

Yes, 15 day legal notice is pre-requisite for filing claim in Consumer Court.

Is right of appeal available under this Law?

Yes, right of appeal is available under the law ;
An Aggrieved person may file appeal in Lahore High Court, Lahore within 30 days of final order of the Consumer Court
An appeal can be filed before Government (Secretary, Industries, Commerce & Investment) within 30 day against the order of Authority.

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