To provide for protection and promotion of the rights and interests of the consumers & in order to raise the standard of goods and services in the province by removing defective products and faulty services from trade and commerce, the Government of Punjab enacted Punjab Consumer Protection Act (PCPA), in the year, 2005. Consequent upon such legislation, District Consumer Courts and District Consumer Protection Councils in seventeen districts namely Bhakkar,Bhawalnagar,Bahawalpur,D.G.Khan,Faisalabad ,Gujranwala,Gujrat,Lahore,Layyah,MandiBahauldin,Multan,Rawalpindi,R.Y.Khan,Sahiwal,Sargodh and Sialkot have been established,which cover throughout the province,while Directorate of Consumer Protection Council,Lahore serves as Headquarrters of said institutions.
The Consumer may file case / claim before Consumer Court which is headed by the District & Session Judge / Additional District & Session Judge. The violator may be punished by the Court,with imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs.100, 000/- (Rupees one lac only) or with both in addition to damages or compensation as may be determined by the Court. The Consumer may also file a complaint for violation of provision of following Sections of said Act before the Authority(DCO)who,on being satisfied that such is the case,fine the violator that may extend to Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand only):-
- Section - 11: Duty of disclosure regarding Products,
- Section - 16: Duty of disclosure regarding Services,
- Section - 18: Prices to be exhibited at the business place! and
- Section - 19: Receipt to be issued to the purchaser.
One important thing which separates this welfare oriented legislation from others is that justice is available free of cost and within limited/short time period to general masses for resolving their grievances against defective products and faulty services.