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Lost Your iPhone? Apple Has No Duty to Trace it, Says Indian Supreme Court

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Judith Mariya

Published on February 22, 2024, 20:02:19

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Apple, supreme court of India, judgement, iPhones, theft, Odisha State Consumer Commission

The Supreme Court of India recently addressed a significant matter regarding Apple India's involvement in tracking stolen iPhones.

In a recent verdict, India's highest court ruled that Apple is not required to trace stolen iPhones using Unique Identity Numbers, overturning a statement by the Odisha State Consumer Commission.

The Supreme Court criticised the Commission's remark as "unwarranted." Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma presided over the case, which stemmed from an appeal filed by Apple India against the Consumer Commission's decision.

The case originated when a consumer, who had purchased an iPhone with theft insurance, reported the stolen phone to the police and Apple India. However, the company took no action to locate the device.

Consequently, the consumer filed a complaint, resulting in a ruling in their favour by the District Consumer Forum. Apple India appealed this decision to the Odisha State Consumer Commission. The Commission's ruling asserted that Apple India, as the iPhone's manufacturer, had an obligation to track the stolen device using its Unique Identity Number.

Apple India disagreed, arguing against being compelled to function as a law enforcement agency. Unhappy with the ruling, the company took the matter to the Supreme Court. After considering arguments from both sides, the Supreme Court invalidated the directive from the Odisha State Consumer Commission, deeming it unjustified.

While acknowledging Apple India's compensation to the consumer, the Supreme Court emphasised that obligating Apple India to trace stolen phones was unjustified.

Consequently, the Supreme Court ordered the removal of the disputed paragraph from the State Commission's order, clarifying the responsibilities of companies in similar circumstances.

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