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How to Start Online Business: Online Fake Jobs

Online shopping has picked up a desirable pace in this growing digital world. The concept of digital India has certainly opened manifold opportunities, and platforms for e-commerce businesses and various online shopping websites have successfully thrived. Lately, because of prevailing reasons such as enlargement in technology, easy access, convenience and comfort, and many more.

Although these are some of the rationales justifying the golden side of e-commerce websites, there are multiple considerable aspects in which it can certainly be a drawback for the economy and the public in general. In simpler words, online shopping applications and websites under the e-commerce fraternity are the marketplaces for retailers and consumers. Hence, it seemingly attracts some provisions and laws abided rules which can also be considered safety protocols for consumer safety.

Need for legal compliance for E-Commerce Websites

Online shopping is now quite prevalent in metropolitan cities because of its convenience and broader options. But buyers are left disappointed or cheated in numerous instances as well. Many e-commerce consumers have been filing complaints at consumer forums/boards as dictated by Pratima Narayan, a lawyer on e-commerce who has expertise in consumer law. She adds that these complaints are registered under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

The Act applies in endorsement of the safety of e-commerce consumers. However, there stand many more legal issues concerning mobile e-commerce applications. Besides the laws that are supposed to be adhered to by every company in India to be legally competent, like the service tax Act, Companies Act, and Income Tax Act, online shopping applications under e-commerce websites are required to adhere to IT Act, Copyright Act, Patents Act, etc.

Basic legal requirements for the mobile app-based business comprise various legal obligations such as app charges, app platform, data security, trade secrets, employee handbook, vendor agreements, and many such, which are crucial tools developed for maintaining safety standards and authenticity of the -commerce business.

Besides, all mobile applications require terms of use as disclaimers and privacy policies obtainable to their users and consumers, which is obliged as part of the intermediary regulations as per IT Rules, 2011. Moreover, a grievance officer's name and contact details are a legal mandate for online e-commerce companies.

Legal framework for e-commerce websites in India

  1. Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  2. Information Technology Amendment Act, 2000
  3. Policies laid down by regulatory bodies like the Reserve Bank of India, Indian Medical Association (IMA), etc., rely on the product/service traded. For example, IMA regulations will apply in subjects where medicines are sold online.

Following are the other legal compliances that online shops must follow:

  • User Data Protection (GDPR)
  • Legal notice and information of the business/company
  • Cookies policy
  • Privacy policy
  • Cyber security in payments
  • Unambiguous navigation and UX
  • E-commerce contract
  • Consent to Communications Intellectual property rights
  • E-commerce rules as per the payments and systems settlements Act, 2007

Court Precedents

G Surrarchita Reddy v/s Flipkart Internet Private Limited

The case was filed with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. The case highlighted the provisions of Sec 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Copyright Act, 1957, The Trade Marks Act, 1999, and the Sales Of Goods Act, 1930. In this case, the issue addressed also pertains to the non-delivery of the product ordered by the plaintiff /complainant and the revocation of the same by the e-commerce platform without the consent of the customer/ plaintiff. It was further noted that sec 79 of the IT Act is not applicable in the given case.

The moment any e-commerce buyer or consumer places an order for a product on the e-commerce website or an application, there is an implied service contractual obligation on the e-commerce platform, and it goes without saying, despite terms of use and disclaimer policy. Thus, it imposed liability on the e-commerce platform for not meeting the standard delivery norms timeline and for negligence and misconduct. Provided facts, issues, and findings, the opposite party was ordered to pay 1000/- as a compensation claim and 1000/- for the litigation expenses incurred.

Fashnear Technology Private Ltd v/s Meesho Online Shopping Pvt Ltd

The case pertains to e-commerce frauds carried out by using the domain name of this online shopping application. The owner of the website or the complainant has filed a suit, and the court observed that the plaintiff's original domain name had been infringed and various illegal activities were being carried out on the company's name. Further investigation by the court ordered for the blocking orders of those fake domain names and to ensure that no other fake domain in the name of "Meesho" is registered or manipulated by them, considering consumer safety as a priority.

Further, a thorough investigation considering similar aspects revealed that there had been numerous other cases reported where the original/ registered domain name of the website was infringed and being operated fraudulently and Customers and the public at large are being tricked and cheated.

Online Fake Jobs

Many websites offer online jobs but most of them are fake. Then they issue legal notices through their fake advocates. The online employers threaten the young unemployed and extract money. The victims need not worry about it. They may either ignore such legal notices, WhatsApp messages or approach the nearest police station and lodge complaints.

The unemployed youth must be very careful while accepting such online jobs. They cannot do anything but the unemployed youth pay the online employers small amounts as penalties, fines for violations or non complying the rules and regulations of such employers.

Conclusion
However, the growth of e-commerce businesses and online shopping applications like Myntra, Urbanic, Flipkart, Amazon, and many more are quite evident in India. Numerous big industries are also investing in such marketplaces in India, leading to both positive and negative aspects.

On the flip side, E-commerce fraud is increasing, including credit/ debit card fraud, cybersquatting, hacking, online shopping and auction deception on-delivery of the product, default in payment, receiving a cheap quality product, and failure by such e-commerce websites and shopping sites to disclose the relevant information and terms of sale. As a user, you can consider security measures while shopping online through any e-commerce website or application.

You can check whether the website has encrypted protocols and certificates to prove vendors' identity, confidential and authenticated service, and 3-D security protocols to secure online payment via debit and credit card. Nonetheless, buyers must research the website before indulging in any interaction or putting in personal information and before ordering a product.

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