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More than a dozen banks have challenged the show-cause notice issued by the Competition Commission of Pakistan for overcharging customers using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in the Sindh High Court.

The petitioners, including National Bank, Allied Bank, Al-Falah, Askari, Soneri, NIB, Standard Chartered, Faysal and Al-Habib among others, have also questioned the Competition Commission of Pakistan Act 2010.

The Competition Commission of Pakistan had taken notice of different private banks overcharging their clients for using 1Link ATM facilities. Instead of a uniform fee of Rs15, the banks were charging between Rs15 and Rs50. The commission imposed a fine of Rs50 million each on 1Link and its 11 founding member banks and Rs10 million on each of its 17 non-founding member banks against violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act 2010.

The petitioner banks submitted that the commission had erred in assuming jurisdiction in the matter. They requested the court to declare the Competition Act 2010 as ultra vires, declaring that the Competition Commission of Pakistan in its present form is an institution without any lawful authority.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.

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