PIL for display of country of origin on products sold on e-commerce sites: HC seeks Centre's stand

New Delhi, Jul 1 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the Centre on a plea seeking directions to it to ensure that the name of the manufacturing country is displayed on products being sold on e-commerce sites.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Centre and e-commerce platforms Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal seeking their stand on the plea by July 22.

The court also issued notice to some other e-commerce platforms like Reliance Retail's Ajio life, Nykaa retail and Decathlon Sports.

The Central government's standing counsel Ajay Digpaul accepted notice on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

The plea by a lawyer has sought implementation of the Legal Metrology Act 2009 and the rules framed under it which mandate that country of origin has to be displayed on products being sold on e-commerce websites.

The petition has claimed that the mandate was not being enforced with respect to e-commerce entities.

It has contended that enforcement of the mandate was important in the current scenario when citizens intend to comply with the central government's appeal to promote and purchase Indian goods and not from some neighbouring countries.

Therefore, it was essential that the country of origin is displayed on products being sold on e-commerce platforms, the petition has said.  The petitioner, during the hearing, contended that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had issued a notification making it mandatory for sellers to enter the country of origin while registering new products on the platform, for promoting 'Make in India' and 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.

Moreover, sellers who have already uploaded their products before issuance of the notification are being reminded to update the country of origin, failing which their products will be removed from the GeM, he said during the hearing held via video conferencing.

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' filter on its portal, he said during the hearing. PTI HMP SKV DV DV