E-Commerce and Consumer Rights: Applicability of Consumer Protection Laws in Online Transactions in India
13 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 2, 2015
In a business ecosystem, consumers are the most vital elements. A business is not reviewed in isolation but is always considered in a combination with the consumers of its good and services. Given such high level of importance that a consumer has in a business network, it is a matter of great shame that their consumer rights are not protected due to non-availability of effective and stringent laws and the ineffectual redressal mechanisms, specially in e-commerce or online transactions. Though e-commerce has enabled the Indian consumer to cross boundaries of states and countries to procure products of their choice, this increased scope for purchase and sale transactions brought about by e-commerce is not well protected by the various Indian consumer laws. The laws with respect to the same have proved to be stagnant, leaving many of such customers remediless. Non protection of data made available online, ineffective delivery system, misleading advertisements, uncertainty with respect to jurisdiction in case of disputes, are some of the emerging concerns in the field of e-commerce. In the light of the above, this article would in brief, look through the lens on rights which a consumer has in case of online transactions, keeping in background the various Indian consumer laws available namely the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Competition Act, 2000, the Indian Contract Act etc. Recommendations and measures for removal of such lacunae as present in the Indian consumer laws have also been covered.
Keywords: Consumer Protection, online transactions, E commerce
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation