Supreme Court Issues Notice to Declare the “Country of Origin” of Products on Online Platforms

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The Supreme Court received a petition. It sought directions to make “country of origin” of goods declared by business houses mandatory. Above all, the purpose of the law is to help public boycotting of Chinese products.

Petitioner’s Submission

Advocate Divya Jyoti Singh filed the petition. Conflict of India-China in Ladakh on 15 June led to the death of many Indian soldiers. So consequently, this issue arose. The petitioner contends for the creation of a law. It should be for e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart etc, to show “country of origin” of the products.

How will the Initiative Aid in Boycotting Chinese Goods?

Certainly, this will help the buyers in boycotting Chinese products. It will finally lead to low demand for Chinese products. The petition stated that-

Currently, the wind is flowing in India which asks for boycotting the Chinese products by non-disclosure of the ‘country of origin’ on the online portals. Symptomatically, the large business houses or their counterparts e-commerce are playing with both the patriotic feelings and are proving the efforts of citizens to boycott the goods as fatal. This, as a result, also blocks the Prime Minister’s ideology to become self-reliant, which is, undoubtedly, the need of the hour.

Amendment to Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act

The petition stated that there is a need to amend Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act. Right to know “country of origin” should be a part of consumer’s rights. Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act states that-

The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of the goods, products or services as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.”

The Conundrum of Goods from Physical Stores vs E-Commerce Goods

The petitioner submits that goods from physical stores have a label of the country of origin. However, products of e-commerce do not have the same. The petitioner submitted that:

“As on today, when the entire country is united and standing together showing allegiance to the motherland, as an effect of the loss of lives of our soldiers owing to the India-Chinese conflict in the Ladakh region and thus are running a nationwide campaign pertaining to the boycott of all the Chinese products/applications like TikTok etc. through which China generates revenues”.

Court’s Decision

The bench comprised of CJI SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice V Ramasubraman heard the matter. After assessing the circumstances, the Court directed the Centre to file its response on this Plea.


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