The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on Wednesday imposed a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on e-commerce platform Flipkart for allowing the sale of hundreds of substandard domestic pressure cookers in violation to mandatory standards.



The CCPA headed by chief commissioner Nidhi Khare has directed Flipkart to notify consumers of all the 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 Rs 1,00,000 for allowing sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform and violating rights of consumers,” CCPA said in a press release dated August 17, Wednesday.



The consumer rights authority observed that provisions in the ‘Flipkart Terms of Use’ such as mandatory use of the words ‘Powered by Flipkart’ on every invoice of the product and distinguishing sellers as Gold, Silver and Bronze for distribution of various benefits indicates the role played by the company in sale of the pressure cookers and other products on its e-commerce platform.



Flipkart admittedly earned a total fee of Rs 1,84,263 through sale of such pressure cookers on its e-commerce platform, CCPA said. “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 their sale to consumers,” it added.



The Domestic Pressure Cooker (Quality Control) Order, which came into force on February 1 last year, mandates conformity to IS 2347:2017 for all domestic pressure cookers. Therefore, since February 1, 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.



“The Central Government, from time to time, notifies the Quality Control Orders (QCOs) specifying compulsory conformity to a standard and use of standard mark for a product to protect consumers from risk of suffering injury and harm and in the interest of public at large,” said the press release.



To raise awareness and quality consciousness among consumers, CCPA has launched a country-wide campaign to prevent 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 cookers and cooking gas cylinders, CCPA said.



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