Thursday 19 December 2019

Delhi HC summons Snapdeal founders in 'fake' HUL products case

Delhi HC summons Snapdeal founders in 'fake' HUL products caseNEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has ordered Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal to personally appear before it on January 9, in a contempt case where two sellers had allegedly listed counterfeit Hindustan Unilever products on the platform by flouting a court order, two people in the know of the matter said.

On Tuesday, Snapdeal’s lawyers filed a plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for Bahl and Bansal. The court is expected to hear that on January 7, one of the people said.

In the case that has been ongoing for several months now, HUL claimed that the sellers had offered fake Indulekha-branded hair oil and hair cleanser on Snapdeal. The consumer goods company that owns the brand had made Snapdeal and its logistics partners party to the case.

According to the two people, the court during an earlier hearing had ordered Snapdeal to take down the listings of fake products within 48 hours of HUL intimating the marketplace about it. However, a couple of sellers allegedly resurfaced after Snapdeal de-listed them, prompting HUL to file the contempt petition.

The court issued the summons on December 4.

Snapdeal had maintained that it was merely a marketplace and did not sell those products itself, said one of them. But HUL lawyers argued that the e-commerce company provided logistics, advertising and managed the listing of the products, so it could not absolve itself from the responsibility, he added.

Snapdeal said as an intermediary, it had taken “a wide variety of measures” to identify and remove sellers who flout its policies and attempt to list non-genuine products.

“We work closely with brands, law-enforcement authorities and international associations to strengthen the mechanism for protection of intellectual property rights and the rights of honest sellers and buyers on our platform,” a spokesperson said in response to ET’s queries.

On this case, the spokesperson said it had filed an exemption application in response to the high court’s “show-cause notice” and that the matter was sub judice.

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