On Monday, the Central government has come up with various amendments for the Consumer Protection rules, 2020 recommended by the Parliamentary panel headed by Partapsingh Bajwa. The new rules were proposed during a time when leading e-commerce giants such as Flipkart & Amazon India are investigated by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged abuse of market dominance by giving preferential treatment to sellers that hold indirect stakes. The new draft has proposed changes like mandatory registration requirements for online retailers, greater scrutiny of flash sales, the enhanced liability of e-commerce entities & a stronger grievance redressal mechanism. Also, it gives an updated definition of an e-commerce entity stating that any person who owns, operates, or manages a digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce. The new draft asks the e-commerce entities for registration numbers. A ban on mi-selling of goods & services is also brought about on e-commerce platforms. This means any deliberate misrepresentation of information to encourage consumers for purchasing the product. Flash sales fraudulently arranged in order to attract consumers to a specific group of sellers are banned. E-commerce companies will now have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, nodal contact person, a resident grievance officer to address consumer grievances. These officers need to be Indian citizens residing in India. The proposed amendments shall ensure accountability for e-commerce companies that were criticized for participation in anti-competitive behaviour.
Source: Live Law