CCPA penalises Flipkart for selling sub-standard Pressure Cookers to consumers; to pay a penalty of ₹ 1 Lakh
Flipkart directed to recall 598 pressure cookers that do not follow Quality Control Orders and reimburse the consumers
By PIB Delhi
The Central Consumer Protection Authority passed an order on violation of consumer rights by e-commerce platform ‘Flipkart’ for allowing the sale of domestic pressure cookers in violation of mandatory standards.
Headed by Chief Commissioner Mrs. Nidhi Khare, 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 ₹1,00,000 for allowing the sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform and violating the 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 the standard mark for a product to protect consumers from the risk of suffering injury and harm in the interest of the public at large. The Domestic Pressure Cooker (Quality Control) Order, which came into force on 01.02.2021, mandates conformity to IS 2347:2017 for all domestic pressure cookers. Therefore, since 01.02.2021, 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.
Flipkart admittedly earned a total fee of ₹1,84,263 through the 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 its sale to consumers.
To raise awareness and quality consciousness among consumers, CCPA has launched a country-wide campaign to prevent the 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 Cooker, and Cooking Gas Cylinders. CCPA has written to District Collectors across the country to investigate unfair trade practices and violations of consumer rights concerning the 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 the Chief Secretaries of all states and U.Ts. direct requisite action under law and ensure compliance with standards directed at compulsory use by the Central Government to protect the interest of consumers.
Further, CCPA has written to Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to duly notify all regional branches of BIS to take immediate cognizance of offences of a violation of mandatory standards under the provisions of the BIS Act, 2016.
Since the launch of the new short code ‘1915’ by the Department of Consumer Affairs, more and more consumers have been registering their grievances on the National Consumer Helpline. It is relevant to note that e-commerce continues to occupy the highest proportion of all grievances registered on NCH. In the month of July 2022, 38% of all grievances on NCH pertained to e-commerce. Major categories of consumer grievances in e-commerce include delivery of defective products, failure to refund of the paid amount, delay in delivery of the product, etc.
CCPA has also issued Safety Notices under Section 18(2)(j) of the Act to alert and caution consumers against buying goods that do not hold valid ISI Mark and violate compulsory BIS standards. While the first Safety Notice was issued with regard to Helmets, Pressure Cooker, and Cooking gas cylinders, the second Safety Notice was issued with regard to household goods including electric immersion water heaters, sewing machines, microwave ovens, domestic gas stoves with LPG, etc.