Case Name – Kunal Bahl vs State of Karnataka
Citation: Crl. P. 4676/ 2020
Court: Karnataka High Court
This case discusses the liability of an intermediary. The Inspector of Drugs filed a complaint on the basis of information received by Deputy Drugs Container, Mysore. The complaint alleged that a seller sold SuHAGRA- 10P tablets on the petitioner’s marketplace www.snapdeal.com. Since Snapdeal does not have a license to sell drugs, a violation of Section 18(c) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, punishable under Section 27(b)(ii) has been alleged.
Whether an intermediary would be liable for sale of any item not complying with the requirements under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1949 on its platform?
An intermediary as defined under Section 2(w) of the IT Act or its directors/ officers would not be liable for any action or inaction on part of a vendor/ seller making use of the facilities provided by the intermediary in terms of a website or a marketplace.
For Section 18(1)(c) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, it is imperative that a person either manufactures for sale or for distribution or stocks or exhibits or offers for sale without a license issued under the Act…Hence neither Snapdeal nor its directors can be made liable for an offence punishable under Section 27(b)(ii) of the Act.