The Sindh government has been given one month to legislate on consumer protection.
On Wednesday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered the provincial government to make laws to ensure rights for consumer, after the law officer was unable to explain unnecessary delays. The counsel for the Karachi Municipal Corporation, the city administration, shifted the onus onto the Sindh government.
The three other provinces of Pakistan all have consumer protection laws, but none of the governments in Sindh have been able to pass this important piece of legislation, the petitioner stated.
Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Syed Muhammad Farooq Shah took up the case in the first half of the day’s proceedings. When asked by the bench what the government’s response was, Additional Advocate General Miran Muhammad Shah drew a blank. “I am unable to make any statement,” he said. “One of the reasons could be that a lot of departments are involved in this.” Shah requested the court to adjourn the hearing till the midday break, enabling him to seek instructions. Later, he told the court that according to the law secretary, the proposed bill is being vetted after which it would be sent to the Cabinet for approval and finally tabled in the Sindh Assembly. “The whole process would take a month’s time,” Shah submitted.
Allowing the request, the court put off the hearing to an unspecified date, while asking the law officer to sort out the issue within a month.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.