New Delhi [India], September 19 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday listed the petition moved by Amazon for hearing along with the matter of Snapdeal on Tuesday. The E-commerce giant Amazon has challenged the Rs. one lakh penalty by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) for allegedly selling pressure cookers without the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Mark.
Justice Yashwant Varma listed the matter for hearing on September 20 along with a similar matter of Snapdeal.
The Authority recently issued an order to recall the substandard pressure cookers sold by Amazon and reimburse the cost to the buyers.
At the outset of the precise hearing the senior advocate, Rajiv Nayar argued that the proper procedure under Section 20 of the Consumer Protection Act has not been followed in the matter.
There is a proper procedure for how you can pass an order under section 20. That is also not followed in this case. But another aspect is how they arrived at the findings that the pressure cookers are not BIS compliant. If there is no Investigation, no inquiry, how have you deduced from mere listings, Senior advocate Nayar questioned.
Nayar also argued that how did CCPA render a finding that the products were non-compliant to the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), when there was no investigation or inquiry regarding the same?
He added that one of the manufacturers has written to us asking how have you taken us off the listing, we are BIS compliant.
On the other hand, the counsel appearing for CCPA, on instruction told the bench that Amazon is an intermediary to bring seller and buyer together. They are nothing like a mall.
The senior advocate said before the court that he will be submitting in terms of Section 79 (3) of the Information Technology Act, specifically on the aspect of his role as an intermediary.
At this point Justice Varma orally told Nayar " Section 79, I am indicating very openly, is not impressing us. That's our first impression. What we want, our anxiety is only this that under the 2020 e-commerce rules that have been framed, show us the obligation placed on you and how you perform."
In the last hearing, it was submitted before the bench the notice of CCPA is without jurisdiction and the platform is only an intermediary as understood in the Shreya Singhal case.
He also submitted that Amazon is like a mall owner and just because some shop is selling spurious apples does not mean that the mall owner can be hauled for it.
We are offering a platform. As soon as they (CCPA) pointed out, we put them (the company selling pressure cooker) off our marketplace," Nayar had submitted.
However, Justice Varma questioned Nayar about why doesn't Amazon undertake a preliminary exercise about whether the seller has a BIS certificate and if such an exercise is an impossibility.
He further asked whether there is any obligation on portals like Amazon to conduct such exercises as well.
Nayar said that Amazon is an e-commerce platform and it can't cause an investigation.
Nayyar also submitted that the order directing the recalling of the pressure cookers can't comply in any case.
The CCPA in August issued notice to Amazon to inform the buyers, recalling all 2,265 pressure cookers sold through its platform and reimbursing the price to the buyers. It was also directed to file a compliance report in 45 days.
The CCPA has also directed Amazon to pay a penalty of Rs one lakh for allowing the sale of pressure cookers in "violation of" of the Quality Control Order (QCO) and "violating" the rights of consumers. (ANI)