The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is working on new rules to make ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart liable for frauds committed by their sellers and and attaching “fallback liability” to them as intermediaries, said a senior official.
The rules will be formulated after the ecommerce companies respond to queries related to the issue sent to them by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), said a ministry official. MeitY’s note, which was sent last week, asked ecommerce companies to clarify their role “as an intermediary.”
Ecommerce platforms or marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are intermediaries that connect buyers and sellers and are protected by safe harbour provisions in Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. However, under the proposed rule changes, the government plans to attach more responsibility to their role as intermediary.
“We are in the process of restructuring the ecommerce rules to ensure that consumer interests are protected adequately in this emerging digital economy. We plan to make marketplaces liable if goods sold on their platforms are found to be faulty,”
the official said.
Source: The Economic Times