In what is seen as a boost for the rights of consumers, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), headed by its Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare, has penalised e-commerce giant Amazon for allowing the sale of domestic pressure cookers violating mandatory standards, on its platform.
The e-commerce giant has been directed to notify the consumers of 2,265 pressure cookers, recall all 2,265 pressure cookers and reimburse the cost to the consumers. The CCPA has also asked Amazon to submit a compliance report within 45 days. Amazon has also been asked to pay a penalty of Rs 1,00,000 for allowing the sale of pressure cookers in violation of QCO (quality control orders) norms.
Taking suo motto cognizance of the sale of pressure cookers not adhering to mandatory standards, the CCPA had issued notices to major e-commerce platforms that included Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, ShopClues and Snapdeal, and also to the sellers registered on these platforms.
In a statement, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said, “After examination of the response submitted by the company, it was observed that total 2,265 pressure cookers not conforming to mandatory standards were sold through Amazon after notification of the QCO ( Quality Control Order). The total fee earned by the Amazon on sale of such pressure cookers through its platform was Rs 6,14,825.41. Noting that Amazon earned ‘sales commission’ fee for the sale of these pressure cookers, the CCPA ruled that it cannot dissociate itself from issues arising from sale of products on its platform.”
The CCPA has already passed similar orders against Paytm Mall for allowing the sale of defective pressure cookers on its platforms that included recall of pressure cookers, refund of the cost to the consumer and a penalty of Rs 1 lakh.
The Authority has already issued ‘safety notices’ under Section 18(2)(i) of the Act to caution consumers against buying goods, helmets, pressure cookers, oozing gas , electric immersion water heaters, sewing machines, microwave ovens, etc, which do not carry a valid ISI mark and violate compulsory BIS standards.
E-commerce platforms Flipkart, ShopClues, Snapdeals are next in line for scrutiny by the CCPA, with notices already issued to them.