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Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules 2020

Husain Kader, Paralegal

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Key Points to take

  • Applicability: The Rules apply to all e-commerce retailers, whether registered in India or abroad, offering goods and services to Indian consumers.

  • Restriction on unfair trade practice, manipulation, and discrimination: The Rule aims to restrict unfair trade practices in e-commerce and direct selling. Further, no e-commerce entity shall manipulate the price of goods or services to gain unreasonable profit or discriminate between consumers of the same class or make any arbitrary classification of consumers affecting their rights.

  • Prices and expiry dates: The sellers through the e-commerce sites will have to display the total price of goods and services offered for sale along with the break-up of other charges. And where applicable, the expiry date of the goods needs to be separately displayed.

  • Country of origin and importer details: All relevant details about the goods and services offered for sale by the Seller must provide to enable the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage. The country of origin of the product is also a relevant detail that should be included. In the case of imported goods; the name and details of the importer and the guarantees related to the authenticity and genuineness of the imported products have to be provided.

  • Should not post fake reviews or mislead: No seller or inventory e-commerce site shall falsely represent itself as a consumer and post reviews about goods or services or misrepresent the quality or the features of any goods or services.

  • No cancellation charges: No e-commerce entity shall impose cancellation charges on consumers canceling after confirming purchase unless similar charges are also borne by the e-commerce entity if they cancel the purchase order unilaterally for any reason.

  • Sellers should not refuse to take back goods, or withdraw or discontinue services if such goods and services are defective, deficient, or spurious. Provided that in the case of late delivery, this condition shall not be applied if such late delivery was due to unforeseen circumstances (force majeure event).

  • Record information of sellers selling counterfeit products: E-commerce entities need to maintain a record of information for the identification of all sellers who have repeatedly offered goods or services that have previously been removed or restricted under the Copyright Act, 1957, the Trade Marks Act, 1999 or the Information Technology Act, 2000. However, the e-commerce entity is not required to terminate the access of such a seller to its platform but may do so on a voluntary basis.

  • Penalty: The violation of the rules will attract penal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Marketplaces, as well as sellers, need to appoint a grievance officer who must acknowledge the receipt of complaints within 48 hours and redress the same within 1 month from the date of receipt of the complaint. Also, e-commerce entities need to provide ticket numbers for consumers to track their complaints.

  • Appoint nodal executive: E-commerce entity need to appoint a nodal person or an alternate senior designated functionary, resident in India to ensure compliance with the provisions of the act or rules.


About Speaker

  • Husain Kader is a Paralegal at LexStart assisting on both legal and compliance matters. Husain focuses on maintaining corporate compliance-related documents and filings for startups to ensure they are investment-ready at all times. Husain also works on structuring and implementing stock incentives programs for startups, including ESOPs, Phantom Shares, and Advisory Stock Options. Husain likes to sketch and cycle in his free time.

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