The Federal Court of Australia has sentenced the operator of online electronics stores, Electronic Bazaar and Dream Kart, to three months imprisonment after he failed to comply with court orders made against him in May 2015.
Dhruv Chopra, the former operator of the two online electronics stores, was found to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations about the availability of refunds and the extent of Electronic Bazaar’s liability for faulty goods.
The online electronics retail site, Electronic Bazaar, sold camcorders, digital cameras, mobile phones, laptops, projectors, and other electronic goods.
The court declared that, since at least 21 May 2014, Chopra had made false or misleading representations about refunds and his company’s liability for faulty goods.
At the time, the court ordered Chopra pay $100,000 in penalties and imposed injunctions preventing him from making any similar false or misleading representations for a period of five years.
In early November last year, the operator of the online electronics stores found himself in trouble again with the Australian competition watchdog, after allegedly making false or misleading representations to customers about refunds and liability for faulty goods. (link)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) subsequently filed proceedings for contempt on 3 November 2016, alleging that Chopra, through his involvement in the online electronics store www[dot]dreamkart[dot]com[dot]au, breached these orders through representations he made on the Dream Kart website.
On 19 April 2017, the court found Chopra guilty of the contempt charges brought by the ACCC.
The court has ordered Chopra to serve one month of the sentence immediately, with the remainder suspended on condition that, for a period of five years, he stop making false or misleading representations online about consumers’ refund and warranty rights
He has also been ordered to stop “wrongly” accepting payment for goods by failing to supply those goods within the specified time and being knowingly involved in such conduct by any other person, according to the ACCC.
“I have no doubt that the contempts [Mr Chopra] committed… are criminal in nature. They involved an attitude of defiance, a deliberate and contumacious determination to defy the Court and a direct intention to disobey the Court’s order,” Federal Court of Australia Justice, David O’Callaghan, said in his judgment.