Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central government and others on a PIL seeking directions to mandate displaying the name of the manufacturing country on the products at e-commerce websites.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while issuing notice, also asked the petitioner to serve the petition copy to all the respondents through email and slated the matter for hearing on July 22. The public interest litigation (PIL) sought the compliance of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
It also sought directions to the Union of India through the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to ensure that the e-commerce entities display the products manufactured in India first, followed by products manufactured by other countries when searched by consumers.
The plea, filed by Advocate Amit Shukla, submitted that in 2017, Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 was amended and a mandate was inserted to publish the country of origin/manufacture in the e-commerce website.
However, the same was never enforced for the e-commerce companies, it added.
The plea said that when a large number of Indian citizens intend to comply with the government’s appeal to promote and buy Indian goods in order to strengthen the nation, it has become essential that the e-commerce websites conspicuously display the country of manufacturing/origin for all products sold through such platforms.
Shukla has made all e-commerce companies including Amazon, Snapdeal, and Flipkart, etc parties in the PIL. It said that the nation’s economy would suffer in the event e-commerce websites continue to not mention the manufacturing country/country of origin of products on their portals.
Earlier this month, the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had made it mandatory for sellers to enter the country of origin while registering all new products on GeM, with an aim to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Moreover, sellers who had already uploaded their products are being reminded to update the country of origin, failing which their products will be removed from the GeM.
The GeM has also enabled a provision for indicating the percentage of local content in the listed products and has also enabled the ‘Make in India’ feature on its portal.
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