Upholding Consumer Rights: SCDRC’s Landmark Ruling on Counterfeit Protein Powder Sold via Flipkart

Posted On - 10 May, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva


In a big legal step, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) in West Bengal gave a very important judgment about selling fake protein powder on Flipkart. This ruling is significant because it found the seller accountable for paying compensation of Rs 30,000 and it sets an important point in law related to protecting consumers in digital marketplaces. This thorough examination looks deeply into details of the case, explaining legal claims put forward, commission’s careful decision-making procedure and wider effects for online markets as well as customer rights.


The scenario under scrutiny involves a discerning customer who sought to procure nutrition from ‘Muscletech Performance Series Nitrotech Whey Protein Milk Chocolate’. The purchase was made through Flipkart. However, upon receipt, several anomalies were noted: the absence of a scratch code, a pivotal indicator of authenticity, and a discrepancy in the color of the cap. These discrepancies prompted the buyer to suspect the product’s legitimacy, prompting them to escalate the matter by initiating an inquiry through Flipkart’s customer support team. Subsequent investigations substantiated the consumer’s apprehensions: the purchased product was indeed counterfeit. This raises significant concerns regarding consumer protection and the maintenance of integrity in e-commerce transactions.

Legal Arguments:

The arguments in the legal discussion of this case were complex, especially those put forth by Flipkart, that the platform is acting as an intermediary and it’s the N.H. Traders, who was responsible for selling counterfeit products. Flipkart’s defense strongly emphasized its role as an intermediary entity. It firmly denied any direct liability for the sale of fake items on its platform. By referring to sections of laws like Consumer Protection Act 2019 and Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules 2020, Flipkart argued that it only provides a place where transactions happen but doesn’t have complete control over what is sold there; thus, it should not be held responsible when consumers have complaints about products bought via their site. Yet, the Commission saw a very important obligation in Flipkart’s role. It is their duty to maintain consumer protection and carefully examine the products sold on the platform.

Commission’s Decision:

After thorough consideration, the SCDRC absolves Flipkart of direct responsibility but admonishes the platform for failing to prevent the sale of counterfeit products. The absence of participation from N.H. Traders amplifies their fault, leading the Commission to demand accountability. In a demonstration of fairness, the Commission orders reimbursement for the product’s cost and substantial compensation for the consumer, reaffirming the efficacy of consumer rights in the digital age.

Significance of the Ruling:

This ruling marks a pivotal moment in legal evolution, underscoring the interdependence of consumer protection regulations and e-commerce oversight. By holding sellers accountable for product authenticity and safeguarding buyers, the Commission has fortified defenses against fraudulent activities, fostering consumer trust while ensuring marketplace integrity. Moreover, this decision serves as a wake-up call for online platforms, urging them to fortify their compliance systems, enhance consumer protections, and proactively combat counterfeit products.

Implications for Online Marketplaces:

The SCDRC’s decision reverberates significantly throughout the digital marketplace, instigating a substantial shift in the dynamics of e-commerce governance. Online platforms recognize their pivotal role as custodians of customer interests, prompting them to overhaul their operational protocols. This entails implementing robust measures to detect counterfeits, resolve consumer grievances, and adhere to regulatory standards. Beyond mere legal obligations, this imperative underscores a commitment to fostering consumer trust, enhancing marketplace transparency, and mitigating the detrimental impacts of counterfeit activities. Consequently, this ruling heralds the dawn of a new era characterized by consumer-centric governance in the digital realm, wherein transparency, accountability, and empowerment of consumers assume paramount importance.


In summary, the SCDRC’s decision represents a pivotal moment in the annals of consumer protection law. Through meticulous deliberation of intricate legal arguments and scrutiny of factual evidence, the Commission has exemplified judicial sagacity and unwavering commitment to consumer welfare. This landmark ruling resonates with the resounding call for empowering consumers and upholding integrity in online marketplaces, serving as a clarion call demanding heightened attention to consumer protection needs and the fortification of regulatory frameworks. As the digital marketplace navigates uncharted realms of progress and transformation, the beacon of consumer rights illuminates the path forward. This guiding light will steer stakeholders towards equitable business practices and the empowerment of consumers.