Flipkart Penalised Rs1 Lakh for Selling Sub-standard Pressure Cookers; Asked To Recall 598 Cookers
Moneylife Digital Team 17 August 2022
The central consumer protection authority (CCPA), while asking to recall 598 sub-standard pressure cookers, has imposed a penalty of Rs1 lakh on Flipkart. 
 
"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 Rs1,00,000 for allowing the sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform and violating the rights of consumers," CCPA says in a release.
 
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, indicate the role played by the e-commerce player in the sale of the pressure cookers on its platform.
 
Flipkart admittedly earned a total fee of Rs1,84,263 by selling these pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform. When Flipkart has gained commercially from selling such pressure cookers, it cannot alienate itself from the role and responsibility arising from its sale to consumers, CCPA observed. 
 
From time to time, the Union government notifies the quality control orders (QCOs) specifying compulsory conformity to a standard and use of the standard mark for a product to protect consumers from risk of injury and harm and in the interest of the public at large. 
 
The domestic pressure cooker (quality control) order, which came into force on 1 February 2021, mandates conformity to IS2347:2017 for all domestic pressure cookers. This order is applicable for pressure cookers offered for sale online or offline.
 
Since the launch of the new shortcode 1915 by the department of consumer affairs, more and more consumers have been registering their grievances on the national consumer helpline (NCH). 
 
According to the department, e-commerce continues to occupy the highest proportion of all grievances registered on NCH. In July 2022, 38% of all grievances on NCH pertained to e-commerce. Major consumer grievances in e-commerce include delivery of defective products, failure to refund the paid amount and delay in delivery of the product, it says.
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