The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) announced on Wednesday that it has fined e-commerce firm Flipkart Rs 1 lakh for allowing the sale of substandard household pressure cookers on its platform.
CCPA chief commissioner Nidhi Khare said in an interview with PTI that Flipkart has been fined Rs 1 lakh for allowing pressure cookers to be sold on its e-commerce platform without a mandatory quality standard mark and violating consumer rights.
She said Flipkart was also instructed to notify consumers of all 598 pressure cookers sold on its platform, recall the pressure cookers and issue refunds to consumers.
The company was also required to provide a compliance report within 45 days, she added.
Since February 2021, the government has mandated compliance with standards and the use of household pressure cooker labelling to protect consumers from the risk of harm and in the public interest.
All household pressure cookers must comply with the “IS 2347:2017” standard, and due diligence is required whether the pressure cooker is sold online or offline.
The agency further stated, “Flipkart has admittedly earned a total fee of Rs 1,84,263 for selling such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform.”
The CCPA chief further stated, “If Flipkart has a financial interest in selling such pressure cookers, it cannot alienate the role and responsibilities that arise from selling such pressure cookers to consumers.”
To increase consumer awareness and quality awareness, the CCPA has launched a nationwide campaign to prevent the sale of counterfeit and substandard goods that violate certain government-mandated standards for marketed products.
Helmets, domestic pressure cookers and cooking gas cylinders are three products that the CCPA is focusing on in its campaign.
It also wrote letters to district collectors across the country to investigate unfair trade practices and consumer rights violations related to the manufacture or sale of such products, and to provide reports of actions taken.
As part of the campaign, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) searched and seized some non-standard helmets and pressure cookers.
The CCPA chief said the BIS had confiscated as many as 1,435 pressure cookers and 1,088 helmets that did not meet the required standards.
For the National Consumer Helpline, about 38% of complaints were related to e-commerce, which included the delivery of defective products, non-refundable payments and late product deliveries.