KARACHI  -  The Sindh government on Wednesday submitted a report to Sindh High Court regarding establishment of consumer courts across the province.

Complying with the court’s order, the provincial authorities submitted report regarding formation of new consumer courts in different districts of the province. The report has been presented by additional secretaries of finance, law and agricultural department before a division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar which was hearing a plea filed by Muhamamd Tariq Mansoor Advocate sought implementation on court’s order regarding setting up consumers’ courts across the province.

According to the report, the consumers courts will be established gradually, at first phase consumers’ courts are going to be established in six districts of the province including, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkhana, Shaheed Benazairabad (Nawabshah) and Mirpur Khas. The government has allocated over Rs 47 million in this regard.

The report stated that Registrar SHC has been informed in writing regarding appointment of the magistrates for the six courts. The magistrates of these districts may be given additional charges of other districts.

The petitioner has submitted that Consumers Protection Act was promulgated in 2014, but despite the passage of two years, the government failed to constitute the consumer courts, resulting the consumers have been suffering from financial loss. The Petitioner pleaded the court to issue order the government to provide compensation to the citizens.

After hearing both sides, the bench issued notice to the chief secretary, secretaries of law, finance, agriculture departments and other stack holders and directed them to finalise the formalities to set up consumer courts in the province and also sought compliance report till October 11.

In the last hearing, the petitioner submitted that the provincial assembly had passed the law to protect and promote the rights of citizens and to redress consumer complaints at the earliest, but so far neither consumer courts nor a consumer protection council had been established by the provincial government which the petitioner said itself is a violation of the law and the Constitution

In his plea, the petitioner stated that setting up a council as well as courts in every district of the province was mandatory under the law, but the provincial authorities have so far made no efforts in this regard and have been depriving the citizens of their due rights as consumers.

The petitioner pleaded for directions to the Sindh government to establish a provincial consumer protection council and consumer courts in every district of the province and issue the necessary notification and rules for their working.