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New draft E-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019 now open for public comments

On August 2, the Department of Consumer Affairs, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, released the draft of E-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019 (available below) for consultation. The draft guidelines are open for consultation from stakeholders for 45 days, that is, until September 16, 2019. Views, comments and/or suggestion can be sent to dscpu-ca@nic.in. Thus far, this is the second draft to emerge on regulating e-commerce. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had released the draft for National E-Commerce Policy in February 2019. That draft hasn’t been ratified into a law yet. Points raised in the policy are both explicitly cited and paraphrased. Here’s a piece by piece lowdown on all the issues it raises: Aim Guiding principles for e-commerce businesses to: Prevent fraud and unfair trade practice Protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers Apply to: B2C E-Commerce, included goods and services, including “digital contents products” Definitions E-commerce Entity: “a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 or the Companies Act, 2013 or a foreign company covered under section 2 (42) of the Companies Act, 2013 or an office, branch or agency in India as provided in Section 2 (v) (iii) of FEMA 1999, owned or controlled by a person resident outside India and includes an electronic service provider or a partnership or proprietary firm, whether inventory or market place model or both and conducting the e-Commerce business; provided that ‘e-Commerce Entity’…

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