Case: – Arman Bakshi v/s Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd.; Complaint Case No. CC/169/2022
In a recent ruling, the Gurdaspur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, presided delivered a judgment in favor of a consumer, Armaan Bakshi, against e-commerce giant Flipkart India. The commission held Flipkart accountable for deficiency in services, as the consumer received an empty package instead of the ordered ‘Okami wolf Nomad laptop backpack.’
Armaan Bakshi placed an order for a laptop backpack through Flipkart’s mobile app. However, upon receiving the package on July 4, 2022, Armaan discovered that it was empty, lacking the backpack, bill, and warranty card. Subsequently, he reported the incident through Flipkart’s app, initiating a refund request. Despite complying with Flipkart’s requests for ID and information usage consent, Armaan faced rejection of his refund requests three times without any explanation. Armaan, alleging financial loss, mental distress, and inconvenience, filed a complaint seeking a refund of Rs.3,149/- along with compensation.
Flipkart, in its defense, asserted that it functions solely as an intermediary connecting buyers and sellers. Citing their Terms of Use, Flipkart argued that the contract of sale exists directly between the buyer and the seller, absolving them of direct involvement in the transaction details. They contended that issues related to product condition, warranties, and after-sales services are the seller’s responsibility, and any refund or return concerns should be addressed by the seller.
The commission carefully considered Flipkart’s defence but ultimately ruled in favour of the consumer, citing evidence that Flipkart had indeed received payment for the transaction. Referring to a previous case, Flipkart Internet Private Limited v/s Arish Juneja, the commission determined that despite operating as an intermediary, Flipkart assumes responsibility upon accepting payment. The commission found Flipkart’s refusal to provide a refund as a deficiency in service, thereby partially allowing the complaint.
As a result of the ruling, the Gurdaspur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ordered Flipkart to refund Rs.3,149/- to the consumer along with 9% interest from the date of filing the complaint. Additionally, Flipkart was directed to compensate Armaan Bakshi with Rs.1,000/- for the mental distress, harassment, and litigation costs incurred during the dispute resolution process.
This ruling highlights the responsibility of e-commerce platforms like Flipkart in ensuring the integrity of transactions and the satisfaction of consumers. Despite claims of being intermediaries, the commission’s decision reinforces that these platforms cannot evade accountability when they accept payment for products.

Author of this article:

Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate

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