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Indians for India products, ecommerce must tell country of origin: HC plea

Indians for India products, ecommerce must tell country of origin: HC plea

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre and various ecommerce platforms, including Amazon and Flipkart, on a petition seeking directions to the government to ensure the display of name of the manufacturing country on the products offered for sale on such websites.

A Division Bench presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Centre, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and ecommerce platforms seeking their response on the petition filed by advocate Amit Shukla.

During the course of hearing, Shukla argued: "This is very important in the current times as keeping in view the prevailing situation with neighbouring countries, every Indian wants to buy Indian products hence, this becomes important."

The petitioner further contended that as per law, ecommerce entities shall mention the name of the country of origin along with every product. The court has now kept the matter for further hearing on July 22.

"Economy of a country defines the strength of Nation. In this era of ecommerce when a huge part of the consumer goods, apparel, decor, cookware, kids stuff, sports etc is sold through e-market, it becomes essential that the Manufacturing country / country of origin of each good or commodity is conspicuously displayed in the ecommerce website or application," the petition said.

The petition further states that in 2017, the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 were amended and a mandate was inserted to publish the country of origin or manufacture in the ecommerce website, however, the same was never enforced for the ecommerce companies.

"Today, when a large number of Indian Citizens intend to comply the government's appeal to promote and buy Indian goods in order to strengthen the Nation, it becomes essential that the ecommerce websites conspicuously display the country of origin for all products sold through ecommerce platform," the plea read.

The plea also claimed that the rights of the consumers shall be gravely prejudiced in the event the ecommerce entities are not directed to conspicuously display the Country of Origin in the products offered for sale in E-Commerce platform.

Shukla by way of his petition also told the court that by not displaying the country of origin of every product, the ecommerce entities are violating the mandate of the law and the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and rules framed there under.

The petitioner also sought court's direction to the government to ensure that the e-commerce entities publish or display the Made in India option separately and conspicuously in the type of goods searched (refine search).

It also stated that the revival of Industry sector is the key to revival of Indian economy. It aims at increasing the contribution of Manufacturing sector in Indian GDP from the current 16 to 25 per cent by the year 2025..