E-commerce is only supposed to translate the physical world into the Internet world and therefore deserves to be similarly regulated as commerce in the physical world. It is our concern that, though the outcome of e-commerce and retail in physical world is the same, the treatment meted out by the Government of India to the two players in the same market is inequitable.
Due to the advent of technology and increased reach to the general public through mobile and other hand-held devices, e-commerce has also reached a level of general and daily use. Multi brand retail is being achieved through e-commerce but on a defence of a marketplace model. E-commerce thus achieves the same result as that of multi brand retail in physical world.
Based on members’ recommendations, RAI had repeatedly sought for the government to create a simple FDI policy for Retail without segregating retail by BRANDS and CHANNELS. We have submitted that the word “retailer”cannot be allowed to have a different meaning for players in the Internet world and players in the physical world.
The continued discrimination by Government between Retailers in physical world and retailers in cyberspace compel us to represent our stand strongly with the Government.
With the above background, and under the direction of the board, RAI filed a writ petition before Hon'ble Delhi High Court on 18th May 2015 to seek a “level playing field” amongst the retailers in the physical world and retailers in the cyberspace (internet world), in relation to the application of Indian laws including the Foreign Direct Investment Regulations.
Please click here to download the petition.
The aforesaid matter was listed before Hon'ble Justice Mr Rajiv Shakhder of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court on 20th May 2015. The Hon’ble Court after considering the arguments, held that the said petition shall be treated as representation to the respondent (i.e. Government) by the petitioner(i.e. RAI) and directed the government to discuss the matter in details with RAI within 4 months. The Court has provided the liberty to RAI to approach the Court in case of a negative response.