With the unimaginable growth of the internet over the past two decades, the age-old question of whether intermediaries can hide behind the facade of a laissez-faire approach or if they must be vicariously held accountable for being enablers that provide a managed platform for the free exchange of information and ideas, still eludes, especially in India.
Legislative protections and immunities granted to intermediaries over the years, whether unfettered or with limitations, have significantly contributed to the continued growth and development of digital platforms for communication, trade and commerce, globally as well as in India.
In the United States of America, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides immunity to online platforms from civil liability based on third-party content and for the removal of infringing content in certain circumstances. The European Commission also recognized the need to foster the development of e-commerce in the European Union and adopted the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, setting up an internal market framework for digital services. This framework provides for granting of limited liability exemptions to intermediary service providers based on specific types of activities undertaken by them - (i) mere conduits - entities that provide access to information over the internet; (ii) caching - entities that transmit information; and (iii) hosting - entities that host or store information. The e-commerce Directive adopted by the European Union addresses exemptions for both removing/disabling access to third party content as well as intellectual property infringement.1
In India, all intermediary platforms, including platforms operating as e-commerce marketplaces, can avail of the safe harbour protection granted to 'intermediaries' under the Information Technology Act, 2000 ('IT Act'), which provide for the exemption from liability for third party information, data or communication links made available or hosted by such intermediary under Section 79 subject to observing the due diligence requirements and duties prescribed thereunder2 and under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 20113 ('Intermediary Rules'). The term "intermediary" under the IT Act means any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits any particular electronic message or provides any service with respect to that message, and also includes internet service providers as well as any online marketplace.4 The safe harbour provisions granted to intermediaries in India under the IT Act seem to be molded from the e-Commerce Directive.
However, over the years, the rapid development of the e-commerce industry has posed several challenges to the existing legal regime for online marketplaces and has raised numerous questions inter alia in relation to the liability of marketplace e-commerce entities vis. a vis. product or service, consumer redressal, third party content etc. Consequently, the immunity granted to the e-commerce entities started eroding gradually in India, with several online marketplaces getting notices from regulatory authorities for sale of fraudulent, adulterated or restricted products through their online platforms and courts recognizing the need to adapt to meet the technological advancement in the sector by becoming more 'consumer-friendly'.
The United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") recognized that the internet and social media ecosystems have grown exponentially and are no longer nascent, which triggered the requirement to re-evaluate the blanket immunity under Section 230 granted to such platforms. In this regard, the DOJ has also suggested key-takeaways and recommendations for realignment of Section 230 with the realities of the modern internet and for balancing the benefits of Section 230 with the need to protect citizens from illicit content and activity online.5 The European Commission has also recognized the need to establish a new framework to increase and harmonize the responsibilities of online platforms and impose obligations on platforms to police illegal and possibly harmful content online.6 Further, in order to strengthen consumer rights through enhanced enforcement measures, increase online transparency requirements and extend consumer rights to 'free' digital content and services, the European Union has recently adopted an omnibus directive7 amending several existing pieces of European Union consumer protection legislations8.
In sync with the evolution of consumer protection regime in European Union, in India, too, the struggle of the lawmakers and the judiciary for perfecting this balance in the context of online marketplaces is evident from the outlook in numerous judicial precedents over the years, and more recently through the enactment of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 ('2019 CPA')9 and the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 ('E-commerce Rules')10, which while significantly diluting the eligibility of marketplace e-commerce entities from availing the safe harbour protection, at the same time, still appears to make a hopeful attempt to save it.
This article deals with how the immunity granted to marketplace e-commerce platforms has evolved in India over the years and to what extent the safe harbour protection under the IT Act withstands the test of the 2019 CPA read with the E-commerce Rules.
2. THE EVOLUTION OF IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY FOR THIRD PARTY CONTENT
Historically, in India, only network service operators were protected from liability for infringing third party content under the IT Act and that too in a limited manner - to the extent it could be proved that the relevant violation was committed without the knowledge of such operator and that the operator had exercised all due diligence to prevent such a violation. The interpretation of what may constitute as all due diligence and what may considered as reasonable in this regard would primarily be left to the discretion of the Court and would vary on a case to case basis. Thus, the original IT Act provided little or no safe harbour protection to even network service providers. A classic illustration of the intermediary liability predicament was seen in the case of Avnish Bajaj v. State (N.C.T.) of Delhi11, (also referred to as Bazee.com case) when it required the judiciary to determine whether an intermediary can be held responsible when it unknowingly and unintentionally facilitates the distribution of obscene content. In this case, the Delhi High Court unfolded the question of strict liability for intermediaries by asking for comprehensive removal of obscene content from the portions of the internet accessible from India and held that a prima facie case for obscenity may be made against Avnish Bajaj. However, the Supreme Court12 overturned the finding and observed the requirement for widening the scope of protection given to intermediaries.
The IT Act was subsequently amended in 2008 to introduce the concept of 'safe harbour' under Section 79 for a broader categorization of intermediaries, which was modified through the amendment to read as it does today. The amended Section 79 of the IT Act now provides for immunity for online marketplaces from "all unlawful acts" in respect of third party content, subject to the observance of the newly prescribed standards for due diligence introduced under the section through the amendment.
Following this amendment, with the sudden boom of internet-based social media giants like YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook, the Government of India introduced the Intermediary Rules, which were mandatory for all intermediaries to follow for claiming the exemption from liability for third-party content under Section 79 of the IT Act. However, these Intermediary Rules were laden with multiple ambiguities in terms of what was prohibited content and left much to the discretion of the intermediaries in this regard. This, coupled with the overarching ramifications of the then existing Section 66A of the IT Act, intermediaries were continually taking down content that may not otherwise have qualified as 'prohibited', thereby hindering the fundamental right of free speech. However, the latter issue was subsequently resolved by the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India13, which recognized an Indian citizen's right to free speech over the internet for the first time and ultimately struck down Section 66A of the IT Act.
The Supreme Court also observed that "it would be very difficult for intermediaries like Google, Facebook etc. to act when millions of requests are made and the intermediary is then to judge as to which of such requests are legitimate and which are not" and in this context, limited the obligation of intermediaries under the Intermediary Rules read with Section 79 of the IT Act to take down any content from its platform only upon "receiving actual knowledge from a court order or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency that unlawful acts relatable to Article 19(2) are going to be committed then fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to such material.. Similarly, the Information Technology "Intermediary Guidelines" Rules, 2011 are valid subject to Rule 3 sub-rule (4) being read down in the same manner as indicated in the judgment".
It is worthwhile to note that Section 81 of the IT Act provides that the provisions of the IT Act may override all other acts but not the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Patent Act, 1970. Therefore, the rights of the owners under the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Patent Act, 1970 remain unfettered by any of the provisions of the IT Act. Accordingly, the provisions of Section 79 of the IT Act cannot restrict the rights of the copyright owners by granting platform immunity to any marketplace e-commerce entity vis. a vis. infringement of any rights under the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Patent Act, 1970 by content hosted on such marketplace. However, in MySpace Inc. v. Super Cassettes Industries Ltd14, the Delhi High Court held that if intermediaries were given the responsibility of identifying illegal content, it could have a chilling effect on free speech and will lead to private censorship, and accordingly, Sections 79 and 81 of the IT Act and Section 51(a)(ii) of the Copyright Act, 195715 have to be read harmoniously. Thus, Section 81 of the IT Act does not preclude the affirmative defense of safe harbour for an intermediary in case of copyright actions. The Court also held that Section 51(a)(ii) of the Copyright Act, 1957, in case of internet intermediaries, contemplates actual knowledge and not general awareness whereby intermediaries must have actual or specific knowledge of the existence of infringing content on their website from content owners and despite such notice, if they do not takedown such content they would lose their immunity. Additionally, in order to impose liability on an intermediary, conditions under Section 79 of the IT Act have to be fulfilled.
In another case Kent RO Systems Ltd. v. Amit Kotak & eBay India Pvt. Ltd.16, the Delhi High Court reiterated the position that an intermediary is not required to make a self-determination of products infringing on intellectual property rights of any right-holder sold on its website, but is required to take down the same only after receipt of a complaint. The Court observed that intermediary will not be possessed with prowess to detect each case of infringement unless their attention is drawn to a particular instance.
Further, Section 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957 identifies actions that do not constitute infringement of copyright, which inter alia includes, "transient or incidental storage of a work or performance for the purpose of providing electronic links, access or integration, were such links, access or integration has not been expressly prohibited by the right holder, unless the person responsible is aware or has reasonable grounds for believing storage is of an infringing copy."
Accordingly, it may construed that an act of incidental storage of work which has not been expressly prohibited by the right-holder, even in the context of counterfeit items being sold on marketplace e-commerce platforms, would not be considered as an infringement of any intellectual property right of a right-holder by the marketplace entity itself unless such marketplace entity has been made aware that the content on the platform is infringing such rights by the relevant right-holder.
In Christian Louboutin SAS v. Nakul Bajaj and Ors17, the Delhi High Court held that where an intermediary is playing an active participant as opposed to merely being an intermediary, such an intermediary would no longer be able to avail the protection granted under Section 79 of the IT Act. The Court also held that the platforms which actively conspire, abet or aide, or induce commission of unlawful acts on their website cannot go scot-free. The protection can only be extended to the mere conduits or passive transmitters of the records or of the information, and if the intermediary does anything beyond that, they would not be covered under the scope of 'intermediary.'
This protection under Section 79 of the IT Act granted to 'intermediaries' has also been extended to 'marketplace e-commerce entities' under the new consumer protection regime18 in India subject to compliance by such entity of the prescribed due diligence standards and duties embodies under Section 79 of the IT Act read with the Intermediary Rules. Thus, on the basis of the above, a crucial determining factor for whether or not a marketplace e-commerce entity will be eligible to avail of the exemption under Section 79 would be based on whether or not such entity has initiated the transmission, selected the receiver of the transmission and played any role in the selection or modification of any information contained in the transmission19.
3. DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF MARKETPLACE ENTITIES UNDER THE NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION REGIME
The erstwhile Consumer Protection Act, 1986 ("1986 CPA"), although did not explicitly cover 'e-commerce entities' including marketplace e-commerce entities within its scope, but was deemed comprehensive enough to also apply to e-commerce entities. Further, the consumer commissions have, time and again, interpreted that since marketplace e-commerce entities provide a neutral platform to interested sellers and consumers and act as a means of communication between them to bring into existence contracts of sale and purchase of goods, therefore, such marketplace e-commerce entities are considered as service providers for the purposes of 1986 CPA. For instance, in the Rediff.com India Ltd. v. Urmil Munjal20, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held that since rediff.com is engaged in business of providing services through its internet portal and acts as facilitator between the sellers and buyers, it cannot be permitted to claim that it is providing purely gratuitous service to its customers, without any consideration.
In order to regulate the protection of consumer interests in the e-commerce sector and provide for additional compliance requirements for entities engaged in e-commerce activities, the 2019 CPA and the E-commerce Rules have explicitly introduced the concept of 'e-commerce entities'21, including marketplace e-commerce entities22, within its scope, and extended the definition of 'consumer' to cover consumers buying through e-commerce portals. Further, E-commerce Rules, which applies to all goods sold over digital or electronic network and applies explicitly to marketplace model of e-commerce, inter alia provides the definition of 'user',23 which extends to any person who accesses or avails any computer resource of an e-commerce entity - irrespective of whether such 'user' may also be a 'consumer', and prescribes additional compliance and conduct requirements for marketplace e-commerce platforms, over and above the provisions of the 2019 CPA, which inter alia include the following:
- Display of Information: Additional
responsibilities on marketplace e-commerce entities have been
imposed to display inter alia the following information on
its platform, in a clear and accessible manner to its users:
- Details about the e-commerce entity, namely its legal name, principal geographic address of its headquarter and all branches and name and details of its website24;
- Details about the sellers, viz. name of their business, their geographical address, customer care number, any rating and aggregated feedback about the seller and any other information necessary for enabling consumers to make informed decisions at the pre-purchase stage to be displayed.25 In the event the e-commerce entity offers imported goods or services for sale, then name and details of such importer is required to be displayed26; and
- Information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment and all relevant information required by consumer to make informed decisions while purchasing goods and services through the marketplace platform to be displayed.27
- Grievance redressal: Marketplace e-commerce entities are required to establish adequate grievance redressal mechanisms and appoint a grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal.28 Such entities are also required to display the name, contact details and designation of such officer on its platform.29 The grievance officer identified is required to acknowledge the receipt of consumer complaints within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt of the complaint.30 Such entities are also required to generate a ticket number for each complaint lodged through which consumer can track the status of the complaint, and display such information to the consumer at the appropriate place on its platform.31 Consumers have also been given right to obtain information, from marketplace e-commerce entity, of the seller from which such consumer has made purchase, including principal geographic address of its headquarters and all branches, name and detail of its website, email address and other necessary information required for effective dispute resolution.32
- Undertaking from Sellers: Marketplace e-commerce entities are required to obtain an undertaking from sellers ensuring that descriptions, images, and other specifications related to the goods offered through the platform of such marketplace e-commerce entities are accurate.33
- Explicit consent of consumers: Marketplace e-commerce entities must record the affirmative consent of consumers for the purchase of any goods or services offered through its platform, and no such consent shall be recorded in the form of pre-ticked checkboxes.34
- Unfair trade practice: The marketplace e-commerce entities are required to regulate their conduct to ensure that it does not adopt any unfair trade practice with respect to interface with consumers and sellers on its platform and its business-related transactions.35
- Level playing field: The marketplace e-commerce entities cannot manipulate the price of the goods or services offered on its platform to gain unreasonable profit. Such entities cannot either discriminate between consumers of the same class or make any arbitrary classification of consumers.36
- Cancellation charges: The marketplace e-commerce entities are prohibited from imposing cancellation charges on consumers who choose to cancel their order after confirming purchase unless similar charges are also borne by the e-commerce entity, if they cancel the purchase order unilaterally for any reason.37
- Payment methods: Marketplace e-commerce entities are required to effect all payments towards accepted refund requests of the consumers as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India or any other competent authority within reasonable timelines and furnish exhaustive information on available payment methods, the security of those payment methods, any fees or charges payable by users, the procedure to cancel regular payment under those methods, charge-back options, if any, and the contact information of the relevant payment service provider.38
- Rankings of goods and services: Provide an explanation of the main parameters which, individually or collectively, are most significant in determining the ranking of goods or sellers on its platform and relative importance of those main parameters. Such information must be displayed in easy, plain and intelligible language.39 This would effectively require a level of internal introspection by the e-commerce entities to establish a uniform system of gradation of the products and the sellers on its platforms, thereby also aiding in ensuring a level playing field.
- Identification of sellers found to be in contravention of Copyright, Trademark and IT Act: Maintain, on a best efforts basis, a record of relevant information allowing for the identification of all sellers who have repeatedly offered goods or services that have previously been removed or access to which has previously been disabled under certain applicable laws such as Copyright Act, 1957, the Trade Marks Act, 1999 or the IT Act. However, no such e-commerce entity shall be required to terminate the access of such seller to its platform, but may do so on a voluntary basis.40
- Prior-written contract with seller: Every marketplace e-commerce entity is required to have a prior written contract with every seller offering goods or services on the platform of such marketplace e-commerce entity, and the terms and conditions governing the relationship of marketplace e-commerce entities with sellers shall include a description of any differentiated treatment given by such marketplace e-commerce entity, if any.41
In addition to the consumer protection regime, the scope of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 ("Legal Metrology Rules"), which lays down provisions in relation to the wholesale and retail sale of pre-packaged commodities, was extended to cover marketplace e-commerce within its ambit.42 The said amendment requires e-commerce entities to display certain declarations (as printed on the label of a packaged commodity) on the digital and electronic network.43 The responsibility of the correctness of the declarations made on such marketplace e-commerce platforms lie with the manufacturer/seller/importer and not the marketplace e-commerce entities, provided, such marketplace e-commerce entities fulfill the applicable requirements and obligations of an intermediary as specified under the IT Act44 and Intermediaries Guidelines.
The 2019 CPA read with the E-Commerce Rules, by providing for the regulation of content to be displayed on the platform and increase in responsibility and accountability for certain actions of the sellers operating on their platforms, has diluted the role of marketplace e-commerce entities as 'intermediaries'.
Under this new regime, which will likely see a stricter implementation than the 1986 CPA, it will be interesting to see how such platforms will continue to avail of the immunity under Section 79 of the IT Act in view of the added obligations imposed by the E-commerce Rules as well as the existing obligations under the Legal Metrology Rules. This was otherwise already difficult in the context of Section 79(2)(b)45 of the IT Act given how such platforms are inherently designed. By design, marketplace e-commerce platforms could be said to have some control through their AI-generated algorithms, over the display of content to its users in terms of behavioural customization and often the display of the content is also determined through seller agreements. Additionally, all seller agreements will need to be carefully crafted to ensure a clear demarcation of roles in terms of the manner in which seller content is uploaded, modified (if relevant) and displayed to its users.
4. MARKETPLACE E-COMMERCE ENTITIES PROVIDING ANCILLARY SERVICES
A new concept of 'Product Liability'46 has been introduced in the 2019 CPA, inter alia enabling consumers to bring product liability action against product service providers (apart from the product manufacturer and product seller) for any harm47 caused to such consumer with respect to any defective product, in the following events:
- if the service provided by such service provider was faulty, imperfect, deficient or inadequate in quality or manner of performance;
- if the service provider has been negligent or withheld any information causing harm to the consumer;
- if the service provider fails to issue adequate instructions or warnings to prevent any harm; or
- if the service provider fails to conform to the express warranty or the terms and conditions of the contract.48
The term 'product service provider' has been defined under the 2019 CPA to mean person who provides any service in respect of such product.49 Further, the definition of the term 'services' provided under the 2019 CPA means service of any description which is made available to potential users but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge.50 Accordingly, e-commerce entities that merely provide a technology platform for the facilitation of transactions between seller and buyer and merely acts as a means of communication between them, will fall out of the scope of 'product service provider' for the purposes of the 2019 CPA. However, marketplace e-commerce entities that provide sellers additional consumer-facing services such as logistics for which the consumer is charged, the marketplace entity may potentially become liable for any harm caused to the consumer due to any deficiency in such service with respect to the relevant product.
Further, the manufacture, sale, storage, distribution or import of any 'products containing adulterants' or 'spurious goods'51 whether by any person or by any other person on behalf of such a person is punishable with not only a fine but also imprisonment, regardless of whether or not such activity results in any injury to the consumer.52 In this regard, while sellers selling such products on marketplace e-commerce platforms would in any case be held liable, the relevant marketplace e-commerce entity may also be impacted and held liable to the extent it is performing any of the ancillary activities on behalf of the seller (for instance, storage). Note that the 'intent' of the seller or any person acting on behalf of the seller would not be relevant here.
Accordingly, no protection under Section 79 of the IT Act would be deemed to apply, since in the above context, the marketplace entity would not, in fact, be acting solely as an intermediary on account of some involvement in the supply chain - which appears to impose strict liability on such entities regardless of intent or knowledge.
The principles of platform immunity embodied under the IT Act and the ambiguity in the 1986 CPA with respect to duties and obligations of marketplace e-commerce entities previously enabled such entities to absolve themselves completely of responsibilities of policing their platforms and monitoring for infringement. However, the emerging regulatory landscape for digital platforms' liability due to advancement in judicial precedents coupled with the enactment of 2019 CPA and E-commerce Rules have identified the roles, duties and obligations of such marketplace e-commerce entities, which has led to erosion of immunity previously enjoyed by such entities.
While the intermediary immunity under Section 79 of the IT Act is still intact and explicitly extended to marketplace e-commerce entities as well, liabilities of such entities have significantly increased with respect to a breach of their duties and obligations identified in the E-commerce Rules and 2019 CPA.
1. Article 12 to 14 of e-Commerce Directive
2. As per sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 79 of the IT Act: (a) the marketplace e-commerce entity may only provide access to communication system for transmission of information; and may not initiate the transmission, select or modify the information or select the receiver. The marketplace e-commerce entity will be required to observe due diligence while discharging its duties under the IT Act; (b) In the event a marketplace e-commerce entity receives actual knowledge of the existence of unlawful content on its platform, then such entity will be required to take down such content from its platform.
4. Section 2(w) of the IT Act
5. Section 230- Nurturing Innovation or Fostering Unaccountability? Key Takeaways and Recommendations, June 2020 released by the DOJ. Link - https://www.justice.gov/file/1286331/download (last visited on August 08, 2020)
6. A coherent framework for building trust in the Digital Single Market for e-commerce and online services', adopted by European Commission on January 11, 2012. Link - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0942:FIN:EN:PDF (last visited on August 08, 2020)
7. The European Enforcement and Modernisation Directive (EU) 2019/2161
8. Council Directive 93/13/EEC (unfair contract terms) and Directives 98/6/EC (price indications), 2005/29/EC (unfair commercial practices) and 2011/83/EU (consumer rights)
9. Published in the official gazette of India on August 09, 2019, and came into force vide notifications issued by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution dated July 15, 2020 and July 20, 2020.
10. Notified vide notification of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution dated July 23, 2020
11. Avnish Bajaj v. State [150 (2008) DLT 769]
12. Aneeta Hada v. Godfather Travels and Tours Pvt. Ltd, [AIR 2012 SC 2795]
13. Shreya Singhal v. Union of India [AIR 2015 SC 1523]
14. MySpace Inc. v. Super Cassettes Industries Ltd [236 (2017) DLT 478]
15. Copyright in a work shall be deemed to be infringed when any person, without a licence granted by the owner of the copyright or the Registrar of Copyrights under this Act or in contravention of the conditions of a licence so granted or of any condition imposed by a competent authority under this Act permits for profit any place to be used for the communication of the work to the public where such communication constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work, unless he was not aware and had no reasonable ground for believing that such communication to the public would be an infringement of copyright.
16. Kent RO Systems Ltd. v. Amit Kotak & eBay India Pvt. Ltd [240 (2017) DLT 3]
17. Christian Louboutin SAS v. Nakul Bajaj and Ors [253 (2018) DLT 728]
18. Rule 5(1) of the E-commerce Rules
19. Section 79(2)(b) of the IT Act
20. Rediff.com India Ltd. v. Urmil Munjal [2013(2)C.P.C.536]
21. As per Rule 2(b) of the E-commerce Rules, "e-commerce entity" means any person who owns, operates or manages digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce, but does not include a seller offering his goods or services for sale on a marketplace e-commerce entity.
22. As per Rule 2(g) of the E-commerce Rules, "marketplace e-commerce entity" means an e-commerce entity which provides an information technology platform on a digital or electronic network to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers.
23. As per Rules 2(l) of the E-commerce Rules, "users" means any person who accesses or avails any computer resources of an e-commerce entity.
24. Rule 4(2) of the E-commerce Rules
25. Rule 5(3)(a) of the E-commerce Rules
26. Rule 4(6) of the E-commerce Rules
27. Rule 5(3)(c) of the E-commerce Rules
28. Rule 4(4) of the E-commerce Rules
29. Rule 4(2) of the E-commerce Rules
30. Rule 4 (5) of the E-commerce Rules
31. Rule 5(3)(b) of the E-commerce Rules
32. Proviso to Rule 5(3)(a) of the E-commerce Rules
33. Rule 5(2) of the E-commerce Rules
34. Rule 4(9) of the E-commerce Rules
35. Rule 4(3) of the E-commerce Rules
36. Rule 4(11) of the E-commerce Rules
37. Rule 4(8) of the E-commerce Rules
38. Rules 4(10) and 5(3)(d) of the E-commerce Rules
39. Rule 5(3)(d) of the E-commerce Rules
40. Rule 5(5) of the E-commerce Rules
41. Rule 5(4) of the E-commerce Rules
42. Notified vide notification of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution dated June 23, 2017 and came into force on January 01, 2018.
43. Rule 6(10) of the Legal Metrology Rules
44. Section 79(2) and (3) of the IT Act.
45. As per Section 79(2)(b) of the IT Act, "the provisions of sub-section (1) shall apply if - the intermediary does not (i) initiate the transmission, (ii) select the receiver of the transmission, and (iii) select or modify the information contained in the transmission."
46. As per Section 2(34) of the 2019 CPA, "product liability" means the responsibility of a product manufacturer or product seller, of any product or service, to compensate for any harm caused to a consumer by such defective product manufactured or sold or by deficiency in services relating thereto.
47. As per Section 2(34) of the 2019 CPA, "harm", in relation to a product liability, includes - (i) damage to any property, other than the product itself; (ii) personal injury, illness or death; (iii) mental agony or emotional distress attendant to personal injury or illness or damage to property; or (iv) any loss of consortium or services or other loss resulting from a harm referred to in sub-clause (i) or sub-clause (ii) or sub-clause (iii) but shall not include any harm caused to a product itself or any damage to the property on account of breach of warranty conditions or any commercial or economic loss, including any direct, incidental or consequential loss relating thereto.
48. Section 85 of the 2019 CPA
49. Section 2(38) of the 2019 CPA
50. Section 2(42) of the 2019 CPA
51. As per Section 2(43) of the 2019 CPA, "spurious goods" means such goods which are falsely claimed to be genuine.
52. Section 91 of the 2019 CPA
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