The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), an arm of the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, has sent notices to Amazon India allegedly for selling sweets on its website under the name “Shri Ram Mandir Ayodhya Prasad”’. The action is based on a complaint by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) that Amazon is engaging in deceptive trade practices by selling sweets under the guise of Ram Temple prasad.
Chief Commissioner of the CCPA and Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh examined the complaint and observed that various sweets or food products are available for sale on Amazon claiming to be prasad of the Ayodhya Ram Temple. “Enabling the sale of food products online that make false representations misleads consumers regarding the genuine characteristics of the product. Such practice falsely influences consumers to make purchase decisions they might not have otherwise taken, had the accurate attributes of the product been mentioned,” the Ministry said in a release.
The Centre has evoked Rule 4(3) of the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules, 2020 that says no e-commerce entity shall adopt any unfair trade practice, whether in the course of business on its platform or otherwise. “Misleading advertisement” is defined under Section 2(28) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 as an advertisement “which falsely describes such product or service; or gives a false guarantee to, or is likely to mislead the consumers as to the nature, substance, quantity or quality of such product or service”.
“CCPA has sought response from Amazon within seven days from issuance of notice, failing which necessary action may be initiated against them under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019,” the Ministry said.