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‘Evolve mechanism to check MRP, seller details on e-commerce websites’

HC asks Centre to submit response, posts matter for Nov. 24

April 08, 2022 01:34 am | Updated 01:34 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to evolve a proper mechanism for conducting regular checks of e-commerce platforms to ensure compliance with rules relating to display of Maximum Retail Price (MRP), seller details, name of the manufacturer and country of origin on the products offered for sale on e-commerce websites.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla asked the Centre to submit it response on the issue while posting the case for further hearing on November 24. “You should have your own mechanism, there should be vigilance,” the High Court said.

The court also asked the authorities to file a status report concerning notices issued to several e-commerce sites for non-declaration of the country of origin of products sold on their websites.

The HC was hearing a petition by one Ajay Kumar Singh who claimed that some e-commerce portals - meesho.com, glowroad.com, shop101.com - are violating explicit provisions of the law and also facilitating the sellers and resellers to violate the same.

The plea claimed that the products are offered for sale in these portals without adequate disclosure of information to the customers as per law. “These companies are flagrantly flouting government norms and not following the mandatory guidelines under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules 2011 and Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules 2020,” the plea said.

Serious violation

The petition said that non-mention of MRP is serious violation of law as the websites are allowing their seller to sell their product at any price which is generally higher than the price mentioned by the manufacturer.

“Seller details are not provided to the customer on the platform or on the product invoice i.e. the seller identity is not disclosed to the customer either pre-purchase or post-purchase,” it said, adding since no seller details is mentioned mandatory GST of seller is also not being displayed on the invoice.

It further claimed that the grievance officer contact number and details are not provided by these e-commerce portals.

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