Did you ever book a bus/train/flight ticket online? Have you booked a cab online? Have you transferred money online? Have you scheduled an online consultation with your doctor? Then you have already used an e-Commerce Website. Any website that provides or becomes the medium for a buyer and seller to get into a deal for selling its products or providing its service can be called an e-Commerce Website.

Types of e-Commerce

B2C- B2C- The most popular kind of e-commerce is business to consumer.  Businesses such as Amazon, Flipkart, and others engage with customers directly by offering their products and services.

B2B- B2B

It is Business to Business and it involves transactions between business and business to sell their goods and services. Like IndiaMart and Truecaller providing services to businesses by promoting their businesses.


Consumer to Consumer where individuals can sell products or services to other individuals. Like Olx and Quikr.


Consumer to business, where an individual provides their product or service to businesses. Like a Freelancer who provides their software development services at Fiverr to IT Companies.

Which laws are applicable to e-commerce transactions-

India Contract Act, 1872

It lays down the essential elements of Contracts in India. There is a contract between the buyer and seller, and so we should know there should be rules and regulations that are applicable to the transaction. This is an online transaction; we can say that it is an online contract. So it is applicable to such contracts.

Criminal Procedure Code

It governs the procedure for the investigation and trial of criminal offences. If there is a criminal offence involved in an e-Commerce transaction where one party has committed fraud, cheating, etc. in regards to the transaction, then this will apply.

Civil Procedure Code

It lays down provisions for the place of suing, and both parties in the contract can approach the appropriate court. This will apply to e-Commerce transactions because most contracts are of a civil nature.

Indian Penal Code

The provisions of the Code will apply when offences like forgery, fraud, cheating, and impersonation happen in an e-Commerce transaction.

Consumer Protection Act, 2019

It contains provisions related to consumer rights, consumer dispute redressal, product liability, unfair trade practices, etc. This provides legal framework for protection of consumer rights and interests in India

Competition Act 2002

It contains provisions to promote fair competition in the market and prevent any anti-competitive and unfair trade practices.

Information Technology Act, 2000

This provides legal recognition for electronic media and establishes provisions related to data protection, cyber security, and third party liabilities in e-Commerce transactions.

Place of suing or cause of action necessary in cases of disputes in e-commerce

Jus in Personam

When Rights are enforceable against an individual, such a right can be called jus in Personam. Only that person is obligated to fulfill the duties and is liable for any loss or harm caused. The claims of rights or interests are in person. Contractual rights or Tortious Claims can be examples of Jus in Personam.

Jus in Rem

When Rights are enforceable against a specific thing or property, such a right can be called jus in Rem. The rights are enforced by actions or claims against specific property only. The claims for rights or interests are against tangible and intangible assets.

Cause of Action

Depending on the cause of action, we can understand which laws to apply. It can be Contractual or Non Contractual. When any business is located in a country, it is obligated to follow certain laws, rules, and regulations of that country. These can be the causes of action:

Breach of Contract

Any party to the Contract fails to fulfill his part, like a delay in delivery where time is a constraint, supplying defective goods, an item missing, non-payment or other aspects of the contract that are essential for performance. Such nonperformance becomes a cause for action.

Non Compliance

When the certain obligations are imposed by the local government, they must be complied with and non compliance will lead to cause of an action

Unfair Trade Practice and Anti Competition

When the conduct of the seller is defective, deceptive, anti competitive and misleading by ways of false advertising, any act which is unfairly affecting the business in competition will become a cause of action.

Fraud or Misrepresentation

If any party uses deceptive ways to manipulate a transaction, that can also be a cause of action, and it can be anything like intentionally providing false information, cheating, or misrepresenting facts about any good, such as price, quality, etc.

Consumer Protection Violation

Consumer Protection involves Consumer rights, preventing consumers from getting misled by false pricing, unfair terms and conditions, etc., and failure to provide these to consumers can be called a consumer protection violation.


All these laws help in understanding the jurisdiction (place of suing), cause of action, and possible outcomes of any disputes in regards to e-Commerce. The laws in regard to e-Commerce Disputes should be progressive, as they are something that keeps evolving as time goes by. For now, buyers and sellers should both know their rights and duties. They must abide by laws and understand that whenever they have any dispute, it is better to clarify with the other party first, and if they don’t agree, they can approach the court for justice.

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