In a plea seeking directions to be issued to the e-commerce websites, Delhi High Court has issued notice to publish the country of origin along with the products in order to promote selling of goods manufactured in India.
A notice to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as to various e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and others have been sent by the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shankar.
The petition filed by Mr Amit Shukla seeks a direction to be issued to all the e-commerce websites to comply with the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules by mentioning the country of origin/manufacturer along with the product.
The said Rules were amended in 2017, to make it mandatory for e-commerce websites to publish the country of origin. However, the said rule has not been enforced so far as contended by the petitioner.
‘During these times, when Indians are motivated to buy products which are domestically manufactured, compliance with the Packaged Commodities Rules become extremely significant’, argued the petitioner.
The Petitioner argued in light of the border tension with China and the adverse effect on the economy due to COVID19 the e-commerce websites must mandatorily comply with the aforesaid Rules in order to be in sync with the intent of the government to promote Indian goods.
The recent notification of the Ministry of Commerce dated June 23, 2020, which directs the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to enter the Country of Origin while registering all new products on GeM was also highlighted by the petitioner.
Submissions were made that the economy of the entire nation would suffer in the event the e-commerce websites continue not to mention the Manufacturing country / Country of Origin of products on the e-commerce websites.
‘The rights of the Consumers shall be gravely prejudiced in the event the E-Commerce entities are not directed to conspicuously display the Country of Origin in the products offered for sale in e-commerce platforms,’ stated the petition. Therefore, Direction by the petitioner to ensure that the e-commerce entities first display the products manufactured in India followed by other products manufactured by other countries for the product searched by the consumer to be done by the Ministry of Commerce