By Aminata S Kuyateh
The Consumer Protection Tribunal has yesterday struck out a case against five supermarkets accused of selling expired foods.
The case was filed by the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, GCCPC, against the Alvihag supermarket, Al-baraka Mini Market, Tayla’s mini, Heewal supermarket and Quality and Affordable American Goods shop.
In its ruling, the Consumer Protection Tribunal panel, headed by Magistrate Dawda Phatey, argued that the plaintiff (Consumer Protection Consortium CPC) is not a proper party to the case because it does not have the ‘locus standi’ to file the case.
The tribunal relied on Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act which states that persons that bring in complaint to the tribunal being a consumer group where a member of the group suffered as a result.
The magistrate found no evidence of their member(s) suffering.
As a result, the case was thrown out for lack of proper party and there was also a procedural error observed.
Speaking to The Standardlater in Kotu, the director of Legal and Enforcement at the GCCPC Alhagie Sambou, said the complaint was brought in by the Consortium against the 5 supermarkets for selling expired food products in their shops or stocks.
“The products were seized and a memo was issued to them and the case was brought before the tribunal. But unfortunately, the ruling came in favor of the defendants,” Sambou who looked unhappy, said to the press.
He however added that the although the Commission respects the ruling, it will not bar them from doing the needful.
“We are also informing the public particularly the business partners that the Consumer Protection Consortium will not relent in performing its duties in making sure expired products are totally removed from our markets,” Sambou charged.