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SHC orders setting up of consumer protection councils within 20 days.

KARACHI -- The Sindh High Court has directed the secretary agriculture department to complete the process of setting up consumer protection councils at the provincial and district levels within 20 days.

A two-judge bench of SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar was hearing two petitions against non-implementation of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014. Earlier, on the directive of the bench, the provincial authorities had established 29 consumer courts in the province, but the petitioners contended that no effort has been made so far for constituting consumer protection council.

At the outset, the secretary agriculture, supply and prices department Agha Zaheeruddin informed the bench that as far as the establishment of consumer protection councils in the province as well as at district level was concerned, they have moved the summary to chief minister for approval and after the endorsement of summary, provincial and district level consumer protection councils will be constituted.

While disposing of the petitions, the bench directed the secretary to complete this exercise within 20 days.

About the issue of non-payment of the salaries to some judges of consumers courts, the secretary agriculture stated that the budget has been transferred to law department for the payment of salaries and the member inspection team-II (MIT-II) of high court as well as director general finance also admitted that the budget has been transferred on Aug 26, the court order said.

The petitioners Tariq Mansoor advocate and Imran Shahzad of a non-governmental organisation had petitioned the SHC against non-implementation of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014.

They had contended that the provincial assembly had passed the law in 2014 to protect and promote the rights of citizens and to redress consumer complaints at the earliest, but neither consumer courts nor a consumer protection council had been established by the provincial government which the petitioners said was itself a violation of the law and the Constitution.

Missing children

Another division bench of SHC on Wednesday directed the police to make efforts for the recovery of 16 missing children and also approach the charity organisations in this regard.

While hearing a petition about missing children, a two-judge bench headed by Justice K.K. Agha directed a deputy inspector general of police to contact the Edhi Foundation, Chhipa and other charity organisations and file a report by Oct 23.

The petitioner contended that some missing children have reportedly contacted such charity organisations, but police were reluctant to visit their offices. The court also asked for counselling of the parents by psychiatrists and social organisations.

Earlier, on a directive of the SHC, the police had lodged 23 FIRs regarding missing children at different police stations of the city. Later, seven of them had returned home.

The petition was filed by Roshni Research and Development Welfare in 2012 seeking court directives to the provincial police for considering the missing children's cases - who went missing from different parts of Karachi - a cognizable offence and registering FIRs in this regard as well as proper investigation.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Aug 29, 2019
Words:549
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