In Pakistan, the idea of the protection of consumer rights dates back to 1995 when The Islamabad Consumer Protection Act was passed. This is not to suggest that consumer rights were not protected in Pakistan before; they fell under the jurisdiction of civil courts all over Pakistan. After Islamabad, consumer courts sprang up all over Pakistan in provincial capitals under relevant provincial laws.
However, 28 years down the road, not every Pakistani knows about the consumer courts, what they do, and what they can do for an average consumer who has been wronged.
If people do not take these courts seriously, they should. Headed by a District & Session Judge or Additional District and Session Judge, consumer courts can imprison a person for up to 2 years. Also, they can fine him/her up to Rs.100,000 or both. Additionally, they can grant damages and compensation to the wronged party.
Often underrated and unappreciated, the consumer courts in Pakistan can provide speedy justice if you know how to approach them. In the following, you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. Hopefully, these answers will help you avail speedy justice.
Let’s begin with the most asked question.
How to File a Case in Consumer Court?
Filing a complaint with the consumer court is a two-step process. If you are interested in seeking justice from a consumer court, then you must follow these steps:
- Step 1: 15-Days Legal Notice to Service Provider
- Serve a 15-day legal notice on plain paper to the provider of a defective product or faulty service.
- State that the provider must redress the damage and pay damages within 15 days of receiving the legal notice.
- If the provider does not comply, the consumer can proceed to file a claim before the Consumer Court.
- Serve the legal notice to manufacturers, sellers, or service providers via registered post/mail with an acknowledgement.
- Complaint must be filed within 30 days from the arising of the cause of action.
- Step 2: Consumer Complaint
- If the issue is not resolved through the legal notice, the consumer can file a case/claim on plain paper before the Consumer Court within the next 15 days.
- No need to hire a lawyer; consumers can file a complaint themselves on plain paper.
- Filing a claim before the Consumer Court is free of cost, and no court fee is required.
Q: Which types of cases are heard by consumer courts?
Complaints related to the following can be filed in the consumer courts:
- Auto parts
- Water connection
- Manufacturing price
- Telecommunication service
- Post service
This is not an exhaustive list.
Q: How long does it take for the case to be decided?
A. The Punjab Consumer Protection Act of 2005, mandates that the court is bound to take a decision within 6 months of a case being filed.
Q: Is the right of appeal available?
A: Yes, the right of appeal is available under the law.
Q: Where can an aggrieved person file an appeal regarding a consumer court’s final order?
A: An aggrieved person may file an appeal in the provincial high court within 30 days of the final order of the consumer court.
Q: Is there another option for filing an appeal against the order of authority?
A: Yes, an appeal may be filed before the Secretary of Industries, Commerce, Investment & Skills Development Department, within 30 days against the order of the authority.
Where is the consumer court in Lahore?
Directorate of Consumer Protection Council
Address:135 – J, Model Town, Lahore
Phone:042 – 99232486, 99232490
Fax:042 – 99232491
Court No. 1, 2nd Floor, Judicial Complex, Session Court, Lahore
Where is the consumer court in Islamabad?
Consumer Court Islamabad House No. 21, Street No. 31, G-6/2, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Where is the consumer court in Karachi?
- Senior Faculty Member,Sindh Judicial Academy, Judges Banglow No.1, Bath Island, Clifton, Karachi
- Consumer Protection Court, karachi central, 2nd Floor, city Court, Karachi
- Presiding officer, Consumer Protection Court, Karachi East, 1st floor, Block F, City court, Karachi
- Presiding officer, Consumer Protection Court, West Karachi, Main MA Jinnah Road, City Court, Karachi
- House# A36, Kehkashan Bungalows, Block# 5, Clifton, Karachi
- Presiding officer, Consumer Protection Court , District Session Court, Malir, Ghazi Dawood Brohi Goth, N5, Malir, Karachi
- Presiding officer, Consumer Protection Court, District South Karachi, City Court Building, M.A jinnah Road, Karachi
While you may not need a lawyer when approaching a consumer court, depending on the complexity of the matter, you may want to avail the services of such a professional. On OLX Pakistan’s lawyers listings, you may find a lawyer who could be the right person to represent you and help you win.
We hope you found this easy-to-read blog useful. Let us know if you would like us to write on similar topics in the future.