Tech Verdicts

Kunal Bahl vs State of Karnataka: Intermediary Liability on e-marketplaces

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 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. 

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Rajat Chawda

Rajat is a student at the Institute of Law, Nirma University. Since a young age, he was fascinated by the technological advancements and his fascination with gadgets has helped him develop a keen interest in TMT Laws in his journey as a law student. He is associated with Mylawrd to further engage himself and learn in this area.

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