What Is the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020?

Must Read

An Insight into Custodial Death in India

“The occurrence of Custodial deaths in the world’s greatest democracy has raised the eyebrows of every citizen and shaken...

Implications in Travel Insurance in Light of the COVID-19 Crisis

As the world, today is crippled by this once in a century pandemic and as of date more than...

Second-Round Effects of Rent Control Laws: The Argentine Case

Introduction In colonial India, a city had an issue with its cobra population, which was a problem clearly in need...

Why Are the Big Techs of Silicon Valley Accused of Anti-Competitive Behaviours?

The big tech giants of the Silicon Valley are facing major challenges with relation to their monopolistic powers after...

KSK announces Sanjay Kumar as a Partner for Pharma & Life Sciences Practice

New Partner for KSK's Pharma & Life Sciences Practice King Stubb & Kasiva recently announced that Mr Sanjay Kumar has...

The Debate Between IPR and Competition Law Explained

There are various market processes or structures that govern market scenario. For simplicity, this paper focuses on two mechanisms:...

Follow us

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force on 20th July 2020. It introduced significant changes to the 1986 act. Few days after it came into force, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020. These rules aim to meet the needs of consumers around digitalization and growing e-commerce. They focus on ensuring the smooth functioning of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and providing a framework to regulate the marketing, sale, and purchase of goods and services online. This piece of work aims to present an overview of these rules for better understanding.

Defining E-Commerce

The rules provide a broad definition of ‘e-commerce’, as per the definition, e-commerce means-

  • any person who owns, operates, or manages;
  • digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce;
  • but does not include a seller offering his goods or services for sale on a marketplace e-commerce entity.

Applicability of Rules

These rules apply to-

  • All e-commerce retail, including:
    • multi-channel single-brand retailers and
    • single-brand retailers in single or multiple formats;
  • All goods & services bought or sold over e-platform; and
  • All models of e-commerce; including the marketplace model and inventory model.
  • All forms of unfair trade practices (as defined under the CPA, 2019) across all models of e-commerce.

These rules will also be applicable to-

  • Entities which are not established in India but systematically offer goods or services to consumers in India.

Rules will not apply to

  • Any natural person;
  • carrying out any activity in a personal capacity;
  • not being part of any professional or commercial activity undertaken on a regular basis.

Appointment of an Official

The rules state that:

  • An E-commerce entity will have to appoint a nodal person or senior designated official;
  • The official has to keep a check on the functioning of the entity and;
  • Make sure that the e-commerce platform follows every rule of CPA, 2019 and e-commerce rules.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism

As per clause 4 of rule 4, every E-commerce entity has to:

  • Set up a grievance redressal mechanism by appointing one grievance officer;
  • The officer will look into the grievances reported by the consumers and provide an effective solution for the same.
  • The E-commerce has to display on its platform the name, contact details, and designation of such officers.
  • The grievance officer has to ensure that the consumer’s complaint is acknowledged within 48 hours of it being reported and;
  • Take an action on the complaint within one month from the date of receipt of the complaint.

Manipulation of Prices

As per clause 11 of rule 4, any unfair practise of unjust price determination of products or services offered on e-commerce platforms for gaining any unreasonable profit from the consumers by taking advantage of circumstances or market conditions is specifically rebuked. This rule is pertinent in the present pandemic scenario, wherein the prices of masks and sanitizers were hiked.

Duties of E-Commerce Entities under the Rules

All E-commerce entities are required to:

  • Display basic information such as their name, contact details and address prominently on the platform;
  • Make efforts to participate in the National Consumer Helpline, for quick resolution of consumer complaints;
  • Mention the name and details of the importer for imported goods or services;
  • Make all refunds according to RBI prescriptions and within a reasonable period; and
  • Ensure consumer consent for the purchase of goods or services is expressed through an explicit and affirmative action. It should not be in an automatic manner such as a pre-ticked checkbox.

Due Diligence by Sellers 

  • The seller needs to enter into a contract with a marketplace e-commerce entity. It needs to provide disclosures regarding its legal name, principal geographic address of its headquarters and all branches, the name and details of its website, its e-mail address, customer care contact details such as fax, landline, and mobile numbers and where applicable, its GSTIN and PAN.
  • There should be no false representation by the seller. They are not allowed to misrepresent themselves as consumers and post reviews for the products, or falsely claim about the quality of goods and services.
  • The seller cannot refuse the refund of the amount received by him/her, on account of any goods or services sold vide marketplace e-commerce platform.

Non-Compliance

In case of any non-compliance or contravention, the provisions of CPA, 2019 will apply to the E-commerce rules. In such cases of violations, the E-commerce entities may need to comply with sanctions resulting in fines or punishments or directions given by the authorities.

Author’s Note 

With the advancement of technology and the dilution of the border on the internet, the world is witnessing a boom in e-commerce industries. During the current pandemic situation, the presence of these platforms has grown multi-folds, common platforms include Amazon, Flipkart, Alibaba, Myntra, etc. have grown because of their contactless deliveries and wide product range. Owing to such high presence of these platforms, the CPA, 2019 and the E-commerce rules were much awaited. They not only strengthen the regulatory framework but also provide mechanisms to curb malpractices and seek effective remedies.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Delhi HC: Mens Rea Essential Before Passing an Order U/S 14b of EPF Act

  In the matter of M/s Durable Doors and Windows v APFC, Gurugram, the bench allowed the Petitioner's appeal holding that mens rea is an...

Delhi HC: Language of Statement and Testimony of Complainant Need Not Be Identical

A single-judge bench of J. Vibhu Bakhru of the Delhi High Court upheld the accused's conviction in Kailash @ Balli v State. The bench...

COVID Results Shall Be Conveyed To the Person Within 24 Hours: Delhi High Court

The order has come in a writ petition moved by Rakesh Malhotra. The Petitioner herein seeks to ramp up testing facilities in Delhi.   Facts of...

Delhi High Court Sets Aside the Order of the Trial Court in the Chief Secretary Assault Case

In the case of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal & Anr. V. State NCT of Delhi, Mr.Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has set aside the 24.07.2019 Order...

Delhi High Court Temporarily Restrains Vintage Moments’ Alcohol Sale in Case of Trademark Infringement

The manufacturers of the Alcohol Brand Magic Moments had filed a suit. The Delhi High Court has passed an order restraining the manufacturing, marketing,...

NGT Red-Flags Kaleshwaram Project: Green Clearance Violated the Law, Halt Work

Excerpt The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Principal Bench, dated 20th October 2020, directed the Telangana government to stop all work, except the drinking water component...

There Can Be No Leniency Shown To Appellant Who Pleaded To Reduce Sentence: Delhi High Court

Facts On 25.2.2016 the victim’s sister who was 13 years old was present with her sister who was 2 years old (victim) at their home....

Violation of Executive Instructions Cannot Be Sole Ground to Invalidate Transfer Orders: Tripura High Court

In Dr Bithika Choudhury vs the State of Tripura & Ors., a Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice S. Talapatra and Hon’ble Justice S.G. Chattopadhyay...

Case Regarding Anticipatory Bail, Applicant May Be Released Imposing Suitable Conditions: Gujarat High Court

A Single-Judge Bench of Gujarat High Court consisting of Honourable Dr Justice A.P. Thakur had been hearing submissions of the Applicant to release him...

Proof of Infliction of Fatal Injury Not Mandatory for Conviction Under Section 307, IPC: Tripura High Court

In the case of Mamin Miah vs the State of Tripura, a Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice S. Talapatra and Hon’ble Justice S....

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -