Indian government serves notice to Amazon for selling sweets as Ayodhya’s Ram Temple ‘prasad’

The Indian government on Friday (January 19, 2024) sent a notice to Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd. for making misleading claims over the sale of sweets under the name ‘Shri Ram Mandir Ayodhya Prasad’.

Representational image of the Amazon logo. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), headed by Chief Commissioner Shri Rohit Kumar Singh, has initiated the action against the e-commerce major.

In a statement, CCPA said: “The action has been initiated based on a representation made by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) alleging that Amazon is engaging in deceptive trade practices involving sale of sweets under the guise of ‘Shri Ram Mandir Ayodhya Prasad’.”

“Pursuant to the examination of the representation, it has been observed that various sweets/food products are available for sale on Amazon e-commerce platform ( claiming it to be ‘Shri Ram Mandir Ayodhya Prasad’,” the statement said.

“Enabling the sale of food products online that make false representations misleads consumers regarding the genuine characteristics of the product. Such practice falsely influences consumers to make purchase decisions they might not have otherwise taken, had the accurate attributes of the product been mentioned,” the statement said.

It may be mentioned that under Rule 4(3) of the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules, 2020 no e-commerce entity shall adopt any unfair trade practice, whether in the course of business on its platform or otherwise

Further, ‘Misleading advertisement’ as defined under the Section 2(28) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 means any means an advertisement, which falsely describes such product or service; or gives a false guarantee to, or is likely to mislead the consumers as to the nature, substance, quantity or quality of such product or service.

Response demanded within a week

CCPA has sought response from Amazon within 7 days from issuance of notice, failing which necessary action may be initiated against them under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

The products could not be found on the platform when it was searched on Saturday (January 20, 2024)