Flipkart top pay RS 1L fine for selling sub-standard pressure cookers

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has passed an order on violation of consumer rights by e-commerce platform Flipkart for allowing sale of domestic pressure cookers in violation to mandatory standards.

According to CCPA Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare, the CCPA has directed Flipkart to notify consumers of all 598 pressure cookers sold on its platform, recall the pressure cookers and reimburse their prices to the consumers and submit a compliance report of the same within 45 days.

The company has also been directed to pay a penalty of Rs 1,00,000 for allowing sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform and violating rights of consumers.

The Central government, from time to time, notifies the Quality Control Orders specifying compulsory conformity to a standard and use of standard mark for a product to protect consumers from risk of suffering injury and harm and in the interest of people at large.

The Domestic Pressure Cooker (Quality Control) order, which came into effect from February 1, 2021, mandates conformity to IS 2347:2017 for all domestic pressure cookers.

Therefore, since February 1, 2021, all pressure cookers are required to conform to IS 2347:2017 and due diligence is required to be done whether the pressure cookers are offered for sale online or offline.

The CCPA observed that provisions in the ‘Flipkart terms of use’ such as mandatory use of the words ‘Powered by Flipkart’ on every invoice of the product and distinguishing sellers as gold, silver and bronze for distribution of various benefits indicates the role played by Flipkart in sale of the pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform.

Flipkart admittedly earned a total fee of Rs 1,84,263 through sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform.

It was observed by CCPA that when Flipkart has gained commercially from the sale of such pressure cookers, it cannot alienate itself from the role and responsibility arising out of their sale to consumers.

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