Delhi High Court has asked Amazon to notify the consumers of 2,265 pressure cookers sold on its platform after an investigation found them below par quality. However, the Court has put the issues related with recall of these cookers and reimbursement in abeyance till next date.

The court has listed the matter for next hearing on November 14.

A single judge bench of Yashwant Verma is hearing a petition by Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd against Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). CCPA did an investigation about the quality of pressure cookers sold by e commerce retailers on its platform. Though lawyers for the etailers submitted that the petitioner was not made aware of the contents of any investigation that may have been undertaken by CCPA, but government counsel, appearing for CCPA refuted this.

Not certified under BIS

He argued that an investigation was duly undertaken and based on that proceedings were initiated by the CCPA against Amazon. Further, he said that the petitioner does not place on the record any material which may establish that the sellers in question were offering products which were compliant with the standards prescribed or were duly certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards [BIS].

It was submitted that Amazon cannot claim the benefit of the safe harbour comprised in Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 unless they are able to establish that they had discharged the obligations placed under the Consumer Protection (ECommerce) Rules, 2020. It was also contended that the petitioner cannot claim a right to onboard sellers without enquiring that their products comply with the legal requirements as applicable.

The bench noted that the investigation is stated to have come to the conclusion that the pressure cookers were not BIS certified. However, “”the petitioner does not appear to have been afforded any opportunity to rebut or meet those findings. The nature of obligations which an e-commerce platform must discharge under the 2020 Rules and whether they were in fact met in the facts of the present case would merit a more detailed examination,” the bench said.

Further, it said that the Court would have to consider the duties and obligations which an e-commerce entity must be held liable to perform in law before on boarding a seller. “These and other issues would warrant further consideration,” the bench said and asked the etailers to notify the buyers.

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