No more sale of acids online, CCPA warns Flipkart and Meesho
Two of the e-commerce entities received notices, and they have to provide comprehensive responses within seven days. 

In response to a serious violation regarding the sale of acid on its e-commerce platform, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has requested an explanation from e-commerce firms Flipkart Internet Private Limited and Fashnear Technologies Private Limited.


Two of the e-commerce entities received notices, and they have to provide comprehensive responses within seven days.


The justification came as the news broke about the culprits from a recent acid attack that attacked 17 years old in Delhi who had bought the acid from Flipkart. On Wednesday, shortly after she left her house for school, two masked men riding on a bike threw acid on a teenager which resulted in serious injury to her.


Many questioned why there was still access to the marketplace of acid despite a restriction as outrage over the attack rose.


“CCPA has come across the sale of highly corrosive acids on these e-commerce platforms. It has questioned the easy and unregulated availability of such acids on these e-platforms. Availability of hazardous acids in a such accessible manner can be dangerous and unsafe for consumers and to the public at large,” said the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

The CCPA has stated that customers could be at risk due to the ready easy accessibility of acid on e-commerce platforms.


“On a suo moto examination of online sale of corrosive acids, CCPA came across Meesho selling acids in violation of directions of Supreme Court as well as the advisory issued by Ministry of Home Affairs,” the ministry added.


After receiving instructions from the Supreme Court, the union ministry of home published an advisory in August 2013 on “measures to be taken to prevent acid attacks on people and for treatment and rehabilitation of survivors,” advising all the union territories and states to implement the initiatives to reduce acid attacks as soon as possible.

Meesho official logo on grey background
Meesho official logo on grey background

To control the sale of acids, a number of states and UTs have issued regulations. Moreover, e-commerce platforms that operate and distribute their goods throughout the country are required to disclose the inspection and compliances they have carried out in this regard.


“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.


The term “consumer rights” used in Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 incorporates the right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products, or services which are dangerous to life and property.


“Sale of highly corrosive acids in an easy, accessible and unregulated manner without any due diligence whatsoever by the e-marketplace entity can lead to disastrous consequences to the consumers, especially the vulnerable sections of the society, namely women and children,” the ministry added.


Considering the critical need and attention, CCPA has taken note of the current matter. “Through this intervention, CCPA wishes to strengthen the interest of consumers and is committed towards safety and protection of their well-being,” the ministry said.