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Delhi HC seeks Centre’s stand on product rule violations by etailers

The matter has been listed for further hearing on 12 March.

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KOLKATA: The Delhi high court has issued notice to the Union government on a petition seeking display of the maximum retail price (MRP), seller details, name of the manufacturer and country of origin on products sold on e-commerce platforms.  A division bench comprising chief justice DN Patel and justice Jyoti Singh has sought reply from the Centre and others.

A petition filed by Ajay Kumar Singh states that three e-commerce portals — Meesho, Glowroad and Shop101 — have been violating the explicit provisions of law and facilitating sellers and resellers to violate the same. It prays for orders directing the Centre to issue directions to ensure compliance with the Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020 and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011. The plea also mentioned that the government amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011 in 2017.

"The key objective of the change in law has been to recognise the role of e-commerce and make e-commerce companies accountable for displaying or disclosing all information that is relevant to the consumers prior to purchase while making a buying decision or information that may be relevant to the consumers post the purchase to address grievances," the petitioner said as quoted in media reports.

It is evident from visiting e-commerce sites that the products are offered for sale without adequate disclosure of information to the customers as per law. The plea added that etailers are not following mandatory guidelines properly and prompting consumers to buy products without adequate information.

Further, the non-mention of the MRP was a serious violation of law as the websites are allowing sellers to sell their products at any price, which was generally higher than one mentioned by the manufacturer, the petitioner claimed.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on 12 March.

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