27 July 2020

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Central Government notifies the new Consumer Protection Rules for e-commerce entities


The Central Government makes the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 in exercise of the powers conferred under Consumer Protection Act, 2019. In view of the rapid growth of electronic commerce (‘e-commerce’) and the rising importance of online trade in a large number of goods and services in India, Rules will play a significant role to ensure transparency in the process and to protect consumers from fraud. Rules are applicable to all goods and services bought or sold over digital or electronic network including digital products.

As per the new rules, no e-commerce entity shall impose cancellation charges on consumers cancelling after confirming purchase unless similar charges are also borne by the e- commerce entity, if they cancel the purchase order unilaterally for any reason. Every e-commerce entity shall only record the consent of a consumer for the purchase of any good or service offered on its platform where such consent is expressed through an explicit and affirmative action, and no such entity shall record such consent automatically, including in the form of pre-ticked checkboxes.

Every e-commerce entity shall effect all payments towards accepted refund requests of the consumers as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India or any other competent authority under any law for the time being in force. No e-commerce entity shall manipulate the price of the goods or services offered on its platform in such a manner as to gain unreasonable profit by imposing on consumers any unjustified price having regard to the prevailing market conditions. E-commerce entity shall not discriminate between consumers of the same class or make any arbitrary classification of consumers affecting their rights under the Act.

Further, no inventory e-commerce entity shall falsely represent itself as a consumer and post reviews about goods and services or misrepresent the quality or the features of any goods or services. Every inventory e-commerce entity shall ensure that the advertisements for marketing of goods or services are consistent with the actual characteristics, access and usage conditions of such goods or services. The violation of the rules will attract penal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

Tags : E-commerce Rules Notification

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