Delhi Highcourt issues Notice in PIL (Public Interest Litigation) to ensure display of manufacturing country’s name on products being sold on e-commerce websites

The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed to ensure that a manufacturing country’s name is displayed on products being sold on e-commerce websites. (Amit Shukla vs UOI & Ors)

The PIL also seeks a direction to ensure that e-commerce entities publish/display the ‘Made in India’ option separately and conspicuously for consumers.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Central government and e-commerce platforms Amazon, Nykaa, Snapdeal etc.

The PIL has been preferred by one Amit Shukla, on the basis that in terms of Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, all e-commerce entities are mandated to publish the name of the country of origin/manufacturer on their platform.

In view of Rules 6 and 10 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, it is compulsory for e-commerce entities to conspicuously mention a product’s country of origin, the petition avers.

However, the same is yet to be enforced qua e-commerce companies, the petitioner stated.

“Most Indians want to buy Indian products now…(one) should know what he is buying from e-commerce websites…”

Petition filed in Delhi High Court

It is further stated that some e-commerce companies are mentioning the country of manufacturing on products, but in a discreet manner which is not easily searchable by the consumers at large.

It was also pointed out that recently, the Central government had notified that all sellers on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) shall also mandatorily enter their country of origin while registering new products for sale on the platform.

“…Because the citizens of the country particularly in view of the tensions in the border and aggression of the neighbour intend not to buy any products originating from the neighbour (Republic of China). It is submitted that the heavy export is the backbone of the Republic of China and in the event, India is self-reliant, the same would strengthen the defence services in-turn boosting the strength of the nation.”

Petition filed in Delhi High Court

The petitioner has thus sought a direction to the Centre to ensure compliance of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 qua e-commerce websites.

The matter will be heard next on July 22.

Published by Sneha Vishwakarma

Advocate, Bombay High court.

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