SPURIOUS GOODS AND SERVICES

The Indian e-commerce market has been expanding steadily. The extraordinary COVID-19 epidemic and ensuing protracted statewide lockdowns have further expedited this. In these circumstances, online purchasing is not only practical but also essential. India will be the second-largest E-commerce market in the world by 2034, according to a research by the India Brand Equity Foundation, a Trust formed by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. As a result of increased income levels and an increase in internet users, the e-commerce sector is anticipated to grow to Rs 13,97,800 crore (US$ 200 billion) by 2027 from Rs 2,69,076.5 crore (US$ 38.5 billion) in 2017.

Concerns about the sale of fake items through e-commerce have grown along with the fast expansion of online shopping. It is exceedingly difficult to tell if a listing on an online marketplace is authentic or fake because the customer cannot physically view the product. It is the duty of e-commerce platforms to prevent the exploitation of their infrastructures for illegal trade. Determining the responsibilities and liabilities of e-commerce organisations as well as strengthening the legal framework for enforcing restrictions on illegal e-commerce have become urgently necessary as a result.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 

In particular, the Rules require e-commerce businesses to give all information about the goods and the seller, as well as to establish a grievance officer for the purpose of resolving consumer complaints and to acknowledge customer complaints within 48 hours. The Act and the Rules give enforcement authorities the teeth they need to take prompt and decisive action against illegal commerce in addition to clearly stated measures that give consumers more control.

The (old) Consumer Protection Act of 1986 established a three-tiered system for resolving consumer disputes at the federal, state, and local levels. However, the new Act also mandates the establishment of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and an investigation wing thereunder by the federal government. The Central Consumer Protection Authority will have the authority to look into potential violations, search for them, and seize any relevant evidence under the Act. The Act also makes certain grave offences cognisable and non-bailable offence. 

Applicability:

I to any products purchased or sold through an electronic or digital network, including digital ones.

(ii) all e-commerce models, including those based on marketplaces and inventories.

(iii) all forms of e-commerce retail, including single brand merchants operating in numerous formats and across many channels,

(iv) all types of unfair business activities in relation to all e-commerce formats. The Rules do not apply to any personal activities carried out by natural persons that are not a regular or systematic element of their professional or commercial activities.

Duties and liabilities of the e-commerce entities and sellers:

Every e-commerce firm is required by the Rules to give information about the sellers who provide the products and services. The identification of the company, its legal name, its physical location, the name of its website, its email address, its contact information, a description of the kinds of things it sells, and its sellers’ contact information are all included in these particulars.

(ii) When an e-commerce company sells imported items, it is required to provide the name and contact information of any importer from whom it has acquired the products or services in question, or who may be a platform seller. Finding companies that deal in fake items will be simple with the use of this information.

(iii) E-commerce enterprises must designate a nodal point of contact or a backup senior designated functionary who resides in India to oversee adherence to the Act’s or its implementing rules’ requirements.

(iv) The grievance officer is required to respond to any consumer complaints within a month of the date of the complaint and confirm receipt of the complaint within 48 hours.

(v) Every marketplace e-commerce firm must make a reasonable effort to keep track of pertinent data that enables the identification of any sellers who have frequently sold products or services that have been taken off the market or restricted access to.

(vi) No seller offering goods or services through a marketplace e-commerce entity shall refuse to take back goods, or withdraw or discontinue services purchased or agreed to be purchased, or refuse to refund consideration, if paid, if such goods or services are defective, deficient or spurious.

punishment for producing items for sale, as well as for holding, selling, distributing, or importing fake goods. Whoever makes for sale, stores, sells, distributes, or imports any fake goods—either by themselves or via another person acting on their behalf—shall be penalised if the following conditions are met:

I causing harm to the consumer that does not amount to a grave damage, punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of three lakh rupees.

(ii) doing harm that results in great suffering for the customer, punishable by up to seven years in jail and a fine of 5 lakh rupees.

(iii) results in the death of a consumer, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but may extend to imprisonment for life and with fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees.

(iv) The offences under (ii) and (iii.) above shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

(v) the court may, in case of first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person referred to in the complaint for a period up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.

The Act and Rules’ enforcement will undoubtedly aid consumers in making wise purchases. Transparency in seller information would dissuade counterfeiters from selling fake items online while also making it simple to locate them. Customers would have a dependable buying experience, and businesses and brand owners would be protected against counterfeiting, as chronic infringers could be prohibited. Last but not least, once the CCPA is fully established, counterfeiters will be further discouraged by the threat of legal and penal repercussions.

REFERNCES

P. Rao(2020),LEGAL PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION FROM PURCHASING SPURIOUS GOODS THROUGH E-COMMERCE UNDER THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 2019 AND CONSUMER PROTECTION (E-COMMERCE) RULES, 2020, https://www.legal500.com/developments/thought-leadership/legal-provisions-for-protection-from-purchasing-spurious-goods-through-e-commerce-under-the-consumer-protection-act-2019-and-consumer-protection-e-commerce-rules-2020/

Consumer Protection Act,2019, Sec.2

Punishments for Consumer Rights Violations(2022),nyaaya.org

Sec. 91 in COPRA,2019,https://www.indianlawsinfo.com/home/section/4338/section-91-in-the-consumer-protection-act–2019/punishment-for-manufacturing-for-sale-or-for-storing-or-selling-or-distributing-or-importing-spurious-goods

DIVISION TWO COMMENTARY ON CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT http://ncdrc.nic.in/bare_acts/1_1_2.html  

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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