E-commerce giant Amazon has been directed by the regulatory authority CCPA (Central Consumer Protection Authority) to pay ₹1 lakh as penalty for allowing the sale of domestic pressure cookers for the violation of consumer rights on its e-commerce platform. The authority also asked Amazon to recall 2,265 pressure cookers and submit the compliance report in 45 days.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority, headed by chief commissioner Nidhi Khare, passed the order against Amazon for allowing the sale of domestic pressure cookers in violation of mandatory standards prescribed by it.

Notably, the CCPA had initiated a suo-moto action against e-commerce platforms for the sale of domestic pressure cookers. Notices were also issued to major e-commerce platforms, including Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Shopclues and Snapdeal, and also to sellers registered on these platforms.

After examining the response submitted by Amazon, the CCPA observed the sale of a total of 2,265 pressure cookers does not conform to mandatory standards. Amazon had earned ₹6.14 lakh by selling these pressure cookers.

Amazon also admitted that it earned ‘sales commission’ fee for the pressure cookers sold. CCPA observed that Amazon earns commercially from the sale of each product listed on its e-commerce platform and that it can not disassociate when such issues arise.

The ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution says the CCPA ordered Amazon to "notify all consumers of the 2,265 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". Amazon has also been directed to pay a penalty of ₹1 lakh for these violations.

Previously, a similar penalty was imposed on Paytm Mall, which as per the ministry, had recalled the defective pressure cookers and deposited the penalty of ₹1 lakh.

Besides, the CCPA had issued an advisory to all e-commerce platforms, with regards to the sale of ayurvedic, siddha and unani drugs containing ingredients as listed in Schedule E(1) of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules. It said the sale or facilitation of sale of such drugs can be done only after a valid prescription of a registered medical practitioner.

The CCPA also issued guidelines for the prevention of misleading advertisements and endorsements for misleading ads. The guidelines include conditions for valid and non-misleading ads, due diligence required for endorsement of ads and considerations for ads targeted at children.

Safety notices were also issued under section 18(2)(j) of the Act to alert and caution consumers against buying goods, which do not hold a valid ISI mark and violate the compulsory BIS standards. The safety notices were issued with regards to helmets, pressure cookers and cooking gas cylinders, and household goods, including electric immersion water heaters, sewing machines, microwave ovens, and domestic gas stoves with LPG, says the ministry.

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