(Eds: update with fresh information, quotes)
Bhopal, Jan 25 (PTI) Police on Tuesday night registered an FIR in Bhopal against unidentified sellers on e-commerce giant Amazon after it emerged that some products, including shoes, featured images of the Indian flag were being sold on its platform in violation of rules, an official said.
The action came hours after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said the government had ordered police to register an FIR against Amazon officials and its owner for allegedly selling products with images or the imprint of the tricolor flag.
Amazon has faced ire from a section of Indian social media users for marketing certain products, including clothing and food items, which feature images of the Indian flag, with some claiming the use of the tricolor doing so was an insult and a violation of the country’s flag code.
“I learned that our national flag is used on products sold by the online e-commerce platform Amazon. It (the national flag) has been used on shoes…this cannot be tolerated,” Mishra said. , who is the state government spokesman, told reporters here.
On the face of it, this is a violation of the National Flag Code, he said.
“I have directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to file an FIR against those responsible and the owner of Amazon,” Mishra added.
In the evening, the Bhopal Police Crime Squad registered a case against unidentified sellers on the Amazon platform based on a complaint filed by a resident of the city.
“Following a complaint, the Bhopal Crime Branch registered an FIR under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honor (Amendment) Act and Section 505(2) of the Code criminal offense (related to public mischief) against unidentified sellers on Amazon and take further action,” Bhopal Police Commissioner Makrand Deuskar told PTI.
The FIR, citing the 26-year-old plaintiff, said the unidentified sellers posted products including T-shirts, mugs and shoes with the national flag printed on them on Amazon, which hurt the feelings of compatriots and insulted the tricolor flag.
This is not the first time the deputy home secretary has ordered the police to take legal action against Amazon.
Last November, Mishra ordered an FIR to be filed against Amazon officials over the suicide of a young congressman who allegedly obtained poisonous sulfa tablets (used as an agricultural fumigant and toxic) through the e-commerce site.
In another case, Bhind District Police filed an FIR against unnamed Amazon India officials after dismantling a gang that allegedly supplied ganja under the guise of selling stevia (a natural sweetener) through the Amazon India portal. e-commerce.
Amazon said Monday it remained committed to taking action against sellers who list non-compliant products.
Amazon.in is an online marketplace where third-party sellers offer products for sale directly to customers, and as such is responsible for compliance associated with the sale of those products, he said.
“We require that all products offered in the marketplace comply with applicable laws and consistently take appropriate action in the event of non-compliance. Amazon remains committed to taking appropriate action against sellers who may have listed non-compliant products,” the company said. PTI ADU NSK