Consumer issues in E-commerce Sector

Q. The Plaintiff, hospitality company incorporated and situated in USA has filed a suit against the two Defendants situated in Bangalore. Where will the jurisdiction lie?

The Court considers that on the basis of on-line booking from Delhi of a hotel room situated in USA or situated in Bangalore, the jurisdiction of this Court cannot be invoked. With the vast spread of Internet and ebusiness, booking of a hotel room can be done from any corner of the world. Merely because a person can get hotel room booked from any corner of the world, would not mean that the hotel or the company running hotel was having place of business at the place of booking through Internet.

The place of business and place of work has to be understood not looking at the booking through e-mails but where the actual physical business of hospitality is being done. If the hotel rooms are available only in Bangalore and can be occupied and used in Bangalore the place of business of hotel has to be in Bangalore. The place of business cannot be in Delhi or at any other place.

Renaissance Hotel Holdings, Inc. v. B.Vihaya Sai & Anr. MANU / DE / 0166 / 2009

Q. Whether an online purchaser can sue in consumer forums. If yes, where does the jurisdiction lie?

Supreme Court ruled that the consumer can initiate legal proceedings at the place from which the online booking was made which is usually the place where he reisdes.

Regarding territorial jurisdiction, NCDRC observed that In an internet booking, the contract is concluded when the booking is accepted by sending the e-ticket which is received at the terminal from which the booking was made. In the instant case, the booking was made at Chandigarh. So, partof the dispute arose in Chandigarh and the consumer forum at Chandigarh can adjudicate.

Spicejet Limited v. Ranju Aery MANU/SCOR/30743/2017