MeitY notices Chinese Shein' app blocked but sale on other platforms not ceased
The Ministry of Electronics and information Technology (MeitY) said the sale of Shein products on other platforms or websites is not covered under Section 69A (Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource) of the IT Act and a blanket order for blocking their sale cannot be passed by the committee constituted under the legal provision.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing a plea seeking to prohibit the re-entry of Chinese fashion brand 'Shein' in India through sale of its products on digital marketplace, Amazon.
The court directed the petitioner to supply a copy of the petition to Amazon’s counsel and granted time to file a reply and listed the matter for further hearing on December 1. The ministry, in its reply filed through central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, said public access and functionality of the Shein app was blocked within India in 2020 but the products of Shein being sold on a third party platform in India is altogether a different aspect.
The ministry said that by an interim order, Shein app was blocked on June 29 last year in the interest of India’s sovereignty and security of the State and in January this year, MeitY blocked the app permanently for public access.
The high court had earlier issued notice on the petition on the ground that Shein was temporarily banned in India by the Centre last year for being prejudicial to the interest and sovereignty of India.
The court, however, had refused to pass any interim order to stay the sale at this stage.
Senior Advocate Vivek Raj Singh, appearing for petitioner Ananttika Singh, urged the court to pass an interim stay order, saying otherwise data will be transferred to the Chinese company.
He said section 69A of the IT Act relates to integrity and sovereignty of the country and these apps were banned because customer details were being passed on to Chinese makers. The counsel had earlier informed the court that there was an advertisement on Amazon which publicised the sale of Shein products on its platform as part of its prime day sale.
In the PIL, the petitioner has sought a direction to Amazon to suspend its partnership with Shein until the ban imposed by Centre is not lifted.
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