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 News Consumer Protection Laws

On Monday, 7 July, the much heralded Consumer Protection (Definition of Goods and Services) Bill 2001 became law. The new legislation has significant implications for lines companies: It brings all products and services ordinarily supplied for domestic consumer use, including electricity, under consumer law.
It exposes suppliers who do not have direct contractual relationships with end-consumers to liability for losses suffered (including consequential losses) as a result of the supplier failing to meet certain implied warranties. The amendments in the 1998 decision Electricity Supply Association of New Zealand Incorporated vs. Commerce Commission, the High Court held that electricity and associated line function services were neither goods nor services for the purposes of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (the Act). Since then, there has been doubt whether electricity, associated line function services and other utility products and services were covered by the Act, the Commerce Act 1986 or the Fair Trading Act 1986.

 
  Copyright Laws

Copyright is the legal means of protecting expression. Copyright attaches to a work when the work becomes "fixed" in a tangible medium, which can be paper, magnetic tape or silicon. This fixation occurs when an expression is "sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than a transitory duration."1 The rights attach immediately, without need for a copyright symbol. The date also attaches immediately. A violation of copyright occurs when someone without authorization of the copyright owner displays or makes an exact duplicate of the work or creates a derivative work based on the copyrighted expression. Most of the exceptions to this rule lie within the doctrine of "fair use”. While the specifics of the doctrine are set forth in federal law, the application of those specifics becomes fuzzy very quickly. Courts determine whether facts fall within the ambit of the doctrine on a case by case basis. Thus, reliance on the doctrine of fair use is a dicey proposition at best.

 
  Registration of a Company and Commencement of Business in Pakistan

The first step toward incorporation of a company in Pakistan is to file an application before the Registrar of Companies for availability of name. If the proposed name of the company is available and it is not in contravention to the provisions of the Companies Ordinance, 1984 and the Rules formed there under, then the Registrar shall issue a certificate stating that the proposed name is available to be adopted.

The next step is to file the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association, which in effect, is the constitution of any company, with the Registrar of Companies in the Province where proposed company is to be incorporated, along with other necessary forms prescribed under the Companies Ordinance, 1984. When the company has been registered, the Registrar issues a Certificate of Incorporation. Once such a certificate has been issued by the Registrar, a private limited company may commence its business immediately. Nonetheless, a public limited company cannot commence its business or exercise its borrowing powers yet unless the Registrar has issued a Certificate for Commencement of Business. The Registrar issues the Certificate for Commencement of Business only if the following requirements have been fulfilled:

  • Shares held subject to the payment of the whole amount thereof in cash have been allotted to an amount not less in the whole than the minimum subscription
  • Every director of the company has paid to the company the full amount on each of the shares taken or contracted to be taken by him and for which he is liable to pay in cash
  • No money is or may become liable to be repaid to applicants for any shares or debentures which have been offered for public subscription by reason of any failure to apply for or to obtain permission for the shares or debentures to be dealt in on any stock exchange
  • There has been a duly verified declaration filed with the Registrar of Companies in the prescribed form by the chief executive or one of the directors and the secretary that the aforesaid conditions have been complied with and the Registrar of Companies has issued a Certificate of Commencement of Business
  • In the case of a company which has not issued a prospectus inviting the public to subscribe for its shares, there has been filed with the Registrar of Companies, a statement in lieu of prospectus
A public limited company may either be listed or unlisted. In case of a listed company, its shares may be quoted and dealt with on one of the three stock exchanges of Pakistan viz. Karachi Stock Exchange, Lahore Stock Exchange and Islamabad Stock Exchange. Whereas the shares of an unlisted public limited company may not be listed on a stock exchange. A public limited company that intends to have its shares listed on a stock exchange must obtain permission from the relevant stock exchange under the listing regulations of that stock exchange.
 
 
 
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Formation of Partnerships in Pakistan
Partnership remains a common mode of business enterprise in Pakistan for small to medium business set-ups. Partnerships are normally formed where there is a desire to have some structural flexibility.

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Statutory Corporations in Pakistan
Statutory corporations or bodies are creation of a statute. They are formed by the Central Government or a Provincial Government through a Central Statute or a Provincial statute, as the case may be.

Read more . . .

 

Joint Venture Business in Pakistan
There is no requirement under the law of Pakistan for registration of such Agreements. However, the entities which form Joint Venture may themselves be required to be registered under the relevant law.

Read more . . .

 
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