Flipkarts India’s online shopping portal is set to be closed for three months as a result of a Rs 50.3 lakh fine imposed by the state of Tamil Nadu over a sale that the company says breached laws regarding child labour and child sex abuse.
The company said the sale of goods to the private website did not comply with the terms of its agreement with the State Government of Tamil Pradesh.
The online marketplace said in a statement that the suspension will affect the online shopping services offered to customers from November 5.
It will also affect the offline payment and customer service services.
The move comes amid an ongoing controversy over online retail in India.
In August, a group of women activists launched a petition calling for the closure of Flipkarns.
The site is not accessible for online shopping.
The petitioners said the company sold goods to a child in India for Rs 50 to Rs 60.
The group, which includes prominent women activists, claimed that the seller had a relationship with a minor girl, who is currently in jail.
The petition said the girl was sold for Rs 60 on the online marketplace without her consent.
The activists were granted temporary relief in December but were ordered to file a case against Flipkars seller.
In response to the petition, the state government ordered the closure on March 3 of Flip kart’s website and its online portal, which are run by Flipkarthas parent company, Amazon India.
The website was set up to facilitate shopping on Amazon’s online marketplace for Indians, but it is no longer available.
Amazon has not responded to requests for comment.
In a statement, Amazon said the decision to suspend the online portal was taken after discussions with Flipkarna’s owner.
“The decision was taken based on our review of the matter and on the findings of the investigation,” Amazon said.
“Amazon and Flipkarma have taken strong measures to ensure that our online platform is not used by child predators and child sexual abuse.”
Amazon said the suspension is only temporary, and will remain in place until the case is resolved.
Flipkar is the company’s largest and most profitable online retailer.