E-Commerce Portal Is Eligible If Seller Does Not Specify “Country of Origin” for Products: Buyer Forum | So Good News


In the first decision of its kind, the Consumer Forum has held that it is the responsibility of the seller that the seller does not indicate the “country of origin” of the product.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Hyderabad observed that under s Consumer Protection (E-Commerce Rules) 2020the seller must provide information about the country of origin of the product and the e-commerce market must ensure that the necessary information is displayed so that the customer can make an informed choice.

If there is any violation of the E-Commerce Rules, the e-commerce market cannot invoke the protection of the “safe harbor” available to intermediaries under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act.

Accordingly, the consumer court held Paytm(e-commerce marketplace) and Uni One India Pvt Ltd (seller) liable for unemployment and paid compensation of Rs.15,000 to Advocate Baglekar Akash Kumar, the plaintiff in the case.

Appellant’s case

Complaints related to Usha sewing machine purchased by Akash Kumar in August 2020 through Paytm for Rs.13,440. After the package was delivered, the plaintiff discovered that the machine was made in Thailand. The product did not indicate the country of origin of the site as prescribed under Rule 6(5) (d) of the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020. Since no information was provided, the complainant assumed that the product was manufactured. in India. The complainant said that he would not have bought the sewing machine if the country of origin had been mentioned online.

In response to the complaint, Paytm argued that it is an online marketplace that provides a platform for various sellers to sell their products and only acts as an intermediary to facilitate transactions between sellers and buyers and does not directly participate in the sale of the goods. .

The manufacturer stated that simply omitting information about the country of birth does not constitute unfair trading when all other information has been provided. It said that there was no reason for the appellant to base his decision on his opinion as he had an opportunity to seek clarity from the manufacturer. It also stated that no harm, injury, emotional distress, or emotional distress was caused to the plaintiff as a result of the willful abandonment.

Hiding the country of origin is an act of fraud : Field observations

Consumer forum observed that, “Ensuring consumers to buy a product without actually mentioning the country of origin may be construed as not providing consumers with the information that must be provided under the E-Commerce Rules 2020”.

“This case falls under the basic law, which states that the seller must provide information to the E-Commerce organization to be displayed on its platform or website, for example, all information related to the goods and services sold by the seller, including the country of origin, which is necessary for the buyer to be able to make a decision wise at the time of purchase.

The e-commerce company is responsible for the negligence of the seller

The Consumer Council rejected Paytm’s arguments noting that there is a “change of mind about the challenges faced by online merchants, who have so far operated largely in a centralized environment”. Once the E-commerce Laws come into force, online traders will be directly and indirectly liable for damages caused by the seller to the customer. This means that although, in the event of negligent actions of the seller, the responsibility of the debt will fall on the business of E-commerce, if any losses that the buyer experiences, the meeting was said.

“The E-commerce Act details the role of E-commerce companies including online platforms. By presenting themselves as intermediaries and saying that they are not allowed to participate in the 79th section of the IT Act, it does not apply immediately as all E-commerce businesses. Organizations will specify the country the origin of all products, in particular, when imported from other countries where they are sold.

Not to mention the country of origin for violating E-commerce laws

The law also stated that “

“With the proliferation of E-commerce websites, the E-commerce industry in India has brought about a significant change in the purchasing behavior of consumers. When consumers decide to buy a product, they rely on the information provided by companies to advertise their products. , this competition to be on top has led to an increase in false claims. falsehood and hiding and misleading information. At the same time, the practice of not mentioning the country of origin of the drug is nothing but incompatible with E-trade laws”.

The Commission comprising Mrs.Uma Venkata Subba Lakshmi (President), Mrs.C Lakhsmi Prasanna (Member) and Mrs.Madhavi Sasanakota (Member) ordered Respondents 1 and 2 to comply with the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 in letters and spirit and release the regulatory information requested in the latest complaint. The board also ordered other parties to pay compensation of Rs. 15,000 due to unemployment and unfair trade practices.


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