SC stays Punjab and Haryana HC order asking OLX India to adopt screening mechanism for sellers' advertisement
The Supreme Court has stayed the directions issued by Punjab and Haryana High Court to OLX India to adopt a screening mechanism with respect to the sellers who could post an advertisement on its platform.
The Supreme Court has stayed the directions issued by Punjab and Haryana High Court to OLX India to adopt a screening mechanism with respect to the sellers who could post an advertisement on its platform. A Bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi stayed the direction of the High Court and also issued notice on OLX's appeal.
"Issue notice. Returnable on March 4, 2022. Pending further consideration, the effect and operation of the order under challenge to the extent it issued certain directions against and in relation to the petitioner shall remain stayed," the order stated. The Bench was hearing an appeal against the December 12, 2021 Punjab and Haryana High Court order which had passed directions against OLX while considering a case of a person impersonating another to upload a sale advertisement in the OLX platform.
The High Court had issued directions to OLX to delete and re-list all the advertisements on the platform only after attaching an open PDF file along with each advertisement, containing the following: at least two ID proofs of the person, who is proposing to sell a property (moveable or immoveable) or asking any professional service; two mobile numbers with a screenshot/photocopy of the message sent by the server, who issued the SIM verifying the name of the owner as per their record; details of the property to be sold whether moveable or immoveable and a document of title like Registration Certificate or insurance paper for vehicles or sale deed etc for property, among others. It had said that only by putting this information in a PDF file, the advertisements will be accepted by OLX or any other such agency and will be floated for the general public.
The plea in the apex court stated, "OLX Platform being an online marketplace, essentially connects sellers with potential buyers and is nothing more than a passive conduit between a buyer and a seller similar to the classifieds column of a newspaper. It is for the passive role played by the Platform that it qualifies as an "intermediary" as defined under Section 2(1)(w) of the Information Technology Act 2000." (ANI)
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