PESHAWAR, Nov 8 In the first ever complaint filed by a citizen under the consumer protection law in the province, a consumer court has put on notice a leading cellular phone company and the concerned shopkeeper.

The district and sessions judge, Ziauddin Khattak, in his capacity as presiding officer of consumer court directed the cellular company, Nokia, and the concerned shopkeeper, Global Customers Service, to clarify their position.

The complaint is filed by a resident of Swathi Gate area, Umer Zafran, stating that the said company was not replacing a faulty cellular phone set despite having a warranty of a year. He requested the court to order the respondent to reimburse his money and pay Rs100,000 as damages.

Advocate Shahnawaz Khan appeared for the complainant and stated that the complainant had purchased the cellular phone on Aug 2, 2010 from Global Customers.

He added that the shopkeeper had given warranty of a year to the complainant. He stated that few days after the purchase, the phone turned faulty as it often got hanged during conversation and its battery got discharged within a few hours.

The counsel stated that when the complainant approached the shopkeeper who referred him to a company, I2 Dealers.

He added that the company in turn referred the complainant to the local office of the phone company. He added that the complainant moved from pillar to post but the respondents did not address his grievances.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was first among the four provinces where the consumer protection law was enacted in 1997. The law -- Consumer Protection Act, 1997 -- was passed by the provincial assembly on Nov 11, 1997. The then governor assented to the bill on Nov 26, 1997. In Jan 2005, the provincial assembly passed another bill, enacting the NWFP Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act, 2005, through which some basic changes were made in the law.

Due to lack of awareness about the law among the consumers, the courts remained dormant for almost five years. Recently, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan had ordered to make the consumer courts functional across the province.