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

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The Delhi High Court issued a notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed. It confirms that a manufacturer must display manufacturer details on e-commerce websites.

Brief facts of the Case

China had caused several disruptions all across the world due to an ongoing pandemic. Thus, the Indian Government is taking several initiatives to boycott Chinese products. They are also giving guidelines to promote Indian products. As a result, several Chinese apps got banned from further use in India. In the light of this current situation, Mr. Amit Shukla had filed a Public Interest Litigation. This was to ensure that e-commerce websites include the origin country’s name on all products. The court issued a notice in regards to this PIL on 1st July 2020. (Amit Shukla vs UOI & Ors)

Contentions 

The petitioner follows this PIL based on Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. It is in view of Rules 6 and 10.

That requires all e-commerce sites to publish the products country of origin/manufacturer. He contended that the same was yet to follow by 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 origin on products. But they do so in a discreet manner that would not be easy to search by the consumers at large. The petitioner also pointed out to the recent notification of the Central Government. The sellers on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) must show the manufacturers’ details. They should 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 a court direction to ensure that the ‘Made in India’ option is getting published. This should happen in a separate and conspicuous way by e-commerce websites. The petitioner also sought a direction to the Centre. The e-commerce website must follow the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

Court’s Decision

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was set up. 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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