Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

New Delhi: The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) passed an order on violation of consumer rights by e-commerce platform Flipkart for allowing the sale of domestic pressure cookers in violation of mandatory standards and imposed a penalty on the company. Headed by Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare, the CCPA has directed Flipkart to notify consumers of all 598 pressure cookers sold on its platform and recall the items and reimburse their prices to the consumers and submit a compliance report of the same within 45 days.

The company has also been directed to pay a penalty of Rs 1,00,000 for allowing the sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform and violating the rights of consumers. The Central Government, from time to time, notifies the Quality Control Orders (QCOs) specifying compulsory conformity to a standard and use of a standard mark for a product to protect consumers from the risk of suffering injury and harm in the interest of the public at large. (Also Read: RBI releases discussion paper on transaction charges on debit, credit, & other)

The Domestic Pressure Cooker (Quality Control) Order, which came into force on 01.02.2021 mandates conformity to IS 2347:2017 for all domestic pressure cookers. Therefore, since February 1, 2021, all pressure cookers are required to conform to IS 2347:2017 and due diligence is required to be done whether the pressure cookers are offered for sale online or offline. (Also Read: ACCA & IMA’s economy survey: Economic confidence dips; looming weak growth)

CCPA observed that provisions in the `Flipkart Terms of Use` such as mandatory use of the words `Powered by Flipkart` on every invoice of the product and distinguishing sellers as Gold, Silver, and Bronze for distribution of various benefits indicate the role played by Flipkart in the sale of the pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform.

Flipkart admittedly earned a total fee of Rs 184,263 through the sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform. It was observed by CCPA that when Flipkart has gained commercially from the sale of such pressure cookers, it cannot alienate itself from the role and responsibility arising out of its sale to consumers. To raise awareness and quality consciousness among consumers, CCPA has launched a country-wide campaign to prevent the sale of spurious and counterfeit goods that violate QCOs published by the Central Government.

Daily use products identified as part of the campaign include helmets, domestic pressure cookers, and cooking gas cylinders. CCPA has written to District Collectors across the country to investigate unfair trade practices and violations of consumer rights concerning the manufacture or sale of such products and submit an action taken report. Under the campaign, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has conducted a search and seizure of a number of non-standard helmets and pressure cookers. 1,435 pressure cookers and 1,088 helmets which did not conform to mandatory standards have been seized by BIS.

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