The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to check whether e-commerce entities like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are complying with the Country of Origin label on the products being sold on their platforms.
Justices DN Patel and Prateek Jalaan directed the government to file a fresh affidavit after verifying the e-commerce entities claims of complying with the relevant laws and rules. The bench also asked the government to keep in mind the objections raised by the petitioner, Amit Shukla, a lawyer who has contended that there are still ambiguities in displaying Country of Origin on products sold by the etailers.
Shukla told the court that there were major ambiguities with regard to products being sold on e-commerce sites including that there are several countries of origin on one product, country of origin is foreign, but item shown as made in India, and country of origin being different from manufacturing country. He claimed that even till date, the e-commerce entities are grossly flouting the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011 and Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020. The petitioner has sought that prosecution be initiated against those flouting the rules.
Moreover, the petition claims that mandate was not being enforced with respect to e-commerce entities. It contended that enforcement of the mandate was important in the current scenairo when citizens intend to comply with the central government’s appeal to promote and purchase Indian goods, and not from neighboring countries.
The counsel for Decathlon pointed out that sometimes, products are manufactured in one country and then assembled in another or in India, and that accounts for the different countries of origin and manufacture. The requirement of country of origin gained momentum this year following the Galwan Valley classes in June between the Indian soldiers and Chinese troops, and the call for boycott of Chinese products. The government also aimed to promote Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) through the labelling.