According to a survey by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, India’s e-commerce sector is worth USD 20 billion. E-commerce has had a significant influence on various Indian businesses, like tourism industry, telecommunications sector, internet trade industry, and so on. The government has heavily pushed e-commerce, which is actually a promotion of e-consumer activities, with a particular concentration on service delivery. Legal control, on the other hand, has yet to catch up with supply.
Electronic commerce, often known as e-commerce, is the exchange of goods and services through the internet. There are 3 types of Ecommerce Businesses:
The idea and execution of e-commerce came to the fore in 1999, when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) organization established the first International Instrument for Consumer Protection in the framework of economic cooperation and development. Following an initial assessment of company rules, recommendations were made on how the concept of e-commerce should be adopted.
On July 23, 2020, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“Rules”) under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (“Act”), with the intent of preventing unfair trade practices in e-commerce and protecting consumers’ interests and rights.
The Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 are designed to be applicable to:
The Rules apply to e-commerce businesses (“Platforms”) that own, operate, or administer a digital or electronic facility or electronic commerce platform, as well as vendors of items and services.More crucially, the Rules have been made clearly applicable to digital products and e-commerce firms that, although not being incorporated in India, “systematically” sell goods or services to Indian customers.
The Rules’ also apply to organizations that provide entirely digital services, such as over-the-top content provider platforms, ed-tech offerings, cab hailing/sharing companies, event management/ticket vending platforms, telemarketing channels, and so on.
These Rules prescribe a set of general conditions that platforms have to adhere to. Some of the key ones are as follows:
To guarantee compliance with the Act and the Rules, platforms must designate a nodal officer or a substitute senior functionary who is an Indian resident. There are no requirements for such an officer’s qualifications, duties, or liabilities.
The Rules include a number of criteria for customer grievance resolution, such as establishing a time-bound grievance redressal procedure, designating a grievance officer, and establishing a framework for customers to monitor their complaints.
Platforms must also make reasonable steps to keep track of vendors who have sold products or services in violation of trademarks, copyright, or the Information Technology Act on several occasions. Platforms must also acquire guarantees from sellers that the descriptions, pictures, and other material associated with products or services are accurate.
1) The Rules require sellers to refrain from misrepresenting themselves as consumers, posting reviews about goods or services, or misrepresenting their quality, as well as to disclose back-to-back information, such as pricing, mandatory notices and expiry dates, country of origin, details of goods and services, exchange, returns, and refunds.
2) Platforms’ responsibilities in terms of appointing grievance officers, bans, and limits on returns and misleading advertising also apply to vendors. The above-mentioned considerations on these problems would also apply to vendors.
3) While big institutional sellers may still be able to implement these criteria, small sellers may find them burdensome.
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 shall be applicable for any violation of the provisions of these rules.Section 94 of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 discusses measures to prohibit unfair commercial practices in e-commerce, direct selling, and other similar situations. It states that the Central Government may take such measures in the prescribed manner to prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce, direct selling, and so on, as well as to protect the interests and rights of consumers.
This article enlists detailed information about The Consumer Protection (E commerce) rules 2020 which every person who is shopping online needs to know.It is important to govern E commerce with proper consumer protection laws. So that the customers will not be taken advantage of by the internet platforms that offer their items.The e-commerce sector is expected to keep growing in future. Better enforcement policy as well as Rules and Regulations pertaining to e-commerce sector will contribute significantly to growth of this sector in long run.