The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) issued a notice to e-commerce entities Flipkart and Meesho for violations relating to the sale of acid reported on their platforms and sought an explanation within seven days.
"The Central Consumer Protection Authority under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has taken strong action on violations of consumer rights. In a run-up to the increasing crimes in society, CCPA took stringent action to safeguard consumer interests," Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said in a release on Friday.
"CCPA has sent notices to two e-commerce entities, namely Flipkart Internet Private Limited and Fashnear Technologies Private Limited (meesho.com) for gross violations relating to the sale of acid reported on their platforms. It has directed these entities to furnish detailed responses within 7 days," it further said.
The release said that CCPA, being the watchdog of consumer interest in India, has come across the sale of highly corrosive acids on these e-commerce platforms.
The availability of hazardous acids in such an accessible manner can be dangerous and unsafe for consumers and to the public at large, it said.
This move comes after a 17-year-old girl in the Dwarka area of Delhi was attacked with acid while she was going to her school on December 14.
"In light of a recent unfortunate incident of acid attack on a 17-year-old in Delhi whereby media reports have highlighted that the alleged offenders had purchased the said acid from Flipkart, it has been directed by CCPA to submit a detailed response, along with necessary supporting documents within 7 days addressing the concern of such availability of acids on its e-platform," the release said.
The release said that CCPA, on a suo moto examination of online sale of corrosive acids, came across Meesho and found it to be selling such acids in violation of directions of the Supreme Court as well as the Advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"Any non-compliance by these e-commerce entities with the directions of CCPA's notices will be strictly dealt with as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019," the ministry said.
Several states and UTs have already issued guidelines to regulate the sale of acids.
"Since these e-commerce platforms operate and deliver their products across the length and breadth of the nation, they have been asked to provide the checks and compliances undertaken by them in this regard," the release said.
(with inputs from ANI)