The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court stayed an order of a consumer redressal commission directing Facebook India Online Services and META Platforms to pay ₹25,599 to a man for non-delivery of a product purchased online and fraudulent advertisement.
On September 15, a single Bench of justice Manish Pitale heard two petitions filed by Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd and META Platforms Inc against the order by the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Gondia. The Commission had directed the companies to pay ₹599 to a person for non-delivery of a product purchased online and ₹25,000 for causing mental agony.
Tribhuvan Bhongade, a daily wage labourer, claimed, “he had seen an advertisement on Facebook by one Marya Studios selling Nike shoes for ₹599. He stated that he had placed an order for the shoes and made payment using his debit card in September 2020, but he never received the shoes. He further claimed that he had tried calling on the customer care number of Marya Studios, where a person further duped him of ₹7,568.”
He moved the Commission contending, “Facebook in connivance with other people was running a scam and duping people through such false, misleading and fraudulent advertisements. He sought a compensation of ₹1,27,568 for the agony he faced. The commission in its order had directed Facebook to refund ₹599 to Bhongade and also pay him ₹25,000 for mental agony, and directed the company to run scam-related awareness advertisements on a regular basis to avoid such incidents.”
The companies argued that the commission had passed the order without jurisdiction and that the plaint was not maintainable, as the complainant’s grievance ought to have been raised against Marya Studios, which was the company that allegedly duped him.
The Bench had stayed the commission’s order, but directed Facebook India and META Platforms to deposit the amount with the registry of the High Court. The Bench had also issued a notice to the complainant and posted the matter for further hearing on November 15.