To provide for protection and promotion of the rights and interests of the consumers and 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, Mandi Bahauddin, 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 Headquarters of said institutions.
The Consumer may file a case/claim before Consumer Court which is headed by the District and Session Judge / Additional District and 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 PKR 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(DC)who,on being satisfied that such is the case, fine the violator that may extend to PKR 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 a limited/short time period to the general masses for resolving their grievances against defective products and faulty services.