The deadline for public comments on the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules 2020 has been extended by the government till August 5. The earlier deadline was July 6. The draft proposes greater scrutiny of flash sales, enhanced liability of e-commerce sites, data protection for consumers and stronger grievance redressal.
A government notice stated that it has now been decided to extend the timeline for receipt of comments and suggestions on the draft e-commerce rules. Views, comments and suggestions on the proposed amendments may be sent by August 5, 2021.
Many e-commerce players, at a meeting organized by the consumer affairs ministry on July, had requested the government to extend the July 6 deadline for submitting comments. As such, on June 21, the ministry had released draft e-commerce rules under which it banned fraudulent flash sale and mis-selling of goods and services on e-commerce platforms. The appointment of the chief compliance officer/grievance redressal officer are among other key amendments proposed to the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules, 2020.
The government also proposed registration of every e-commerce entity which intends to operate in India with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). The proposed amendments also included e-commerce entities requiring to provide information not later than 72 hours of the receipt of an order from a government agency for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences under any law.
The new draft proposes introduces an updated definition of what constitutes an e-commerce entity, cross-selling, which refers to sale of additional goods related to a purchase already made, and fall-back liability, which essentially increases the liability of e-commerce platforms. It defines an e-commerce entity as any person who owns, operates or manages digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce and any related party, as defined under the Companies Act, 2013, but does not include a seller offering his goods or services for sale on a marketplace e-commerce entity. This enhances the liability of e-commerce companies for goods and services delivered on their platforms.