Delhi High Court Issues Notice to Ensure Display of Manufacturing Country’s Name on Products Being Sold on E-Commerce Websites

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The Delhi High Court issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed. This was to ensure that a manufacturing country’s name was displayed on products being sold on E-Commerce websites.

Brief Facts of the Case

China had caused several disruptions to not only India but the entire world through the Coronavirus inducement. Thus, the Indian Government had been taking several initiatives to boycott Chinese products and to promote Indian products. Several Chinese apps were also banned from being used in India. Therefore, in the current situation, Mr. Amit Shukla had filed a Public Interest Litigation. This was to ensure that e-commerce websites would include the manufacturing country’s name on all their products. The Court issued a notice with regards to this PIL on 1st July 2020 (Amit Shukla vs UOI & Ors.).

Contentions

The petitioner prefers this PIL on the basis of Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, in view of Rules 6 and 10. This states that all E-Commerce entities are mandated to publish the name of the products’ country of origin/ manufacturer on their platform. He contended that the same was yet to be enforced qua E-Commerce companies.

“Most Indians want to buy Indian products now… (one) should know what he is buying from E-Commerce websites.”

He stated that some E-Commerce companies do mention the country of manufacturing on products. But they do so in a discreet manner which would not be easily searchable by the
consumers at large. The petitioner also pointed out to the recent notification of the Central Government. It mentioned that all the sellers on the Government E-Marketplace (GeM) should also mandatorily enter their country of origin. They should also do so while registering new products for sale on the platform.

“Because the citizens of the country particularly in view of the tensions in the border and aggression of the neighbour intend to buy any products originating from the neighbour (Republic of China). It submitted that the heavy export is the backbone of the Republic of China and in the event, India is self-reliant, the same would strengthen the defence services in-turn boosting the strength of the nation.”

The PIL sought direction to the Court to ensure that E-Commerce entities publish or display the ‘Made in India’ option separately and conspicuously. The petitioner also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure compliance of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 in the capacity of E-Commerce website.

Court’s Decision

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan heard the case. They issued notice to the Central Government and E-Commerce platforms. Some of the platforms were Amazon, Nykaa, Snapdeal, etc.

The next hearing would be on 22nd July 2020.


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