Flipkart fined ₹1 lakh for selling sub-standard pressure cookers

Central Consumer Protection Authority has also directed Flipkart to recall 598 pressure cookers that do not follow quality control orders and reimburse the consumers


New Delhi: The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has penalised e-commerce platform ‘Flipkart’ for allowing sale of domestic pressure cookers in violation to mandatory standards and directed it to recall 598 pressure cookers that do not follow the quality check.

An order to this effect was passed by Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare on Wednesday. In the order, the CCPA 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. It has also asked to submit a compliance report of the same within 45 days.

Along with it, the e-commerce platform has also been directed to pay a penalty of ₹1,00,000 for allowing sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform and violating rights of consumers.

The Central Government, from time to time, notifies the quality control orders (QCOs) specifying compulsory conformity to a standard and use of standard mark for a product to protect consumers from risk of suffering injury and harm and in the interest of public at large.

The domestic pressure cooker (quality control) order, which came into force on February 1, 2021 mandates conformity to IS 2347:2017 for all domestic pressure cookers. Therefore, since  that date, all pressure cookers are required to conform to IS 2347:2017 and due diligence is required to be done whether the pressure cookers are offered for sale online or offline.

The 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 indicates the role played by Flipkart in sale of the pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform.

Flipkart admittedly earned a total fee of ₹1,84,263 through sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform. It was observed by CCPA that when Flipkart has gained commercially from the sale of such pressure cookers, it cannot alienate itself from the role and responsibility arising out of their sale to consumers.

To raise awareness and quality consciousness among consumers, CCPA has launched a country-wide campaign to prevent sale of spurious and counterfeit goods that violate QCOs published by the Central Government. Daily use products identified as part of the campaign include helmets, domestic pressure cookers and cooking gas cylinders. CCPA has written to District Collectors across the country to investigate unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights concerning manufacture or sale of such products and submit Action Taken Report.

Under the campaign, BIS has conducted search and seizure of a number of non-standard helmets and pressure cookers. 1,435 pressure cookers and 1,088 helmets which did not conform to mandatory standards have been seized by BIS.

CCPA has also written to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories to direct requisite action under law and ensure compliance of standards directed for compulsory use by the Central Government to protect the interest of consumers.

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