Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Redressal Commission (NCDRC): Justice V.K. Jain (Presiding Member) while dismissing the revision petition filed by Yash Raj Films with regard to allegations of unfair trade practice & deficiency being placed upon them, stated that,

“I Fail to understand the logic behind including a song in the promo but excluding it while exhibiting the movie, unless the intention of the producer is to deceive the viewer by making him believe that the song would form part of the movie while knowing it very well that the said song would not be a part of the movie when it is exhibited in cinema halls.”

The reason behind the complaint filed by the complainant was that she decided to watch the movie “FAN” on watching the promos of the movie. When the complainant watched the movie, the song “Jabra Fan” was missing due to which she felt cheated and deceived and later she approached the District Forum.

Complaint filed on being dismissed by the District Forum, complainant approached the State Commission wherein it the petitioner was directed to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to the complainant.

Petitioner had submitted that the song “Jabra Fan” was shown on TV Channels as a promotional trailer of the film and it had been disclosed to the public at large by way of press interviews that the said song wouldn’t be a part of the movie.

Being aggrieved by the State Commission’s order, petitioner approached the NCDRC.

Question for consideration that arose was, whether the complainant can be said to be a consumer within the meaning of Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act or not.

“Consumer means a person who buys goods or hires or avails services for consideration.”

Complainant paid the price of the ticket to the exhibitor. The price of the ticket received by the exhibitor, after excluding the tax component, is shared between the exhibitor, distributor and producer of the movie. Therefore, it cannot be accepted that the complainant was not a consumer.

Term unfair trade practice is defined in Section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act and it includes the practices enumerated in the said Clause though the aforesaid Clause is not exhaustive and there can be practices other than those specified therein which amount to an unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice.

Commission held that the practice of including a song in the promo of a film shown widely on TV Channels but excluding the said song while exhibiting the movie, in my opinion, constitutes an unfair trade practice.

Exclusion of a song from the movie will also constitute a deficiency, as defined in Section 1(g) of the CP Act, if the song is impliedly promised, but is later omitted while exhibiting the movie.

Thus, in the above view, the revision petition is dismissed. [Yash Raj Films (P) Ltd. v. Afreen Fatima Zaidi, 2020 SCC OnLine NCDRC 24, decided on 18-02-2020]

Case BriefsDistrict Court

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, U.T. Chandigarh: The Bench of Rattan Singh Thakur (President) and Surjeet Kaur and Suresh Kumar Sardana (Members) recorded a firm finding in the present case against the footwear brand “BATA”, stating that it involved in “unfair trade practice.”

In the present case, the complainant stated that, on visiting the shop premises of “BATA”/OP in order to purchase a pair of shoes. The complainant’s bill on purchasing a pair of shoes came out to be of Rs 402. Cashier of “OP” handed over the shoes in a paper carry bag bearing the advertisement name of the shop “BATA”. Complainant stated that it had no intention to purchase the carry bag and it was OP’s duty to provide the carry bag. But complainant was forced to pay for the same.

Hence the complainant submitted that it was unfair trade practice and prayed for punitive damages.

Opposite Party has contested that for the purpose of environmental safety, the complainant was given carry bag at the cost of Rs 3.

The forum stated that if the OP is an environmental activist, he should have given the carry bag to the complainant free of cost. It was a gain of OP. By employing unfair trade practice, OP is minting a lot of money from all customers.

Thus, the forum was of the view that the present complaint deserves to succeed against the OP and further directed OP with the following directions-

  • To provide free carry bags to all customers forthwith who purchase articles from its Shop and stop unfair trade practice i.e. to charge for carry bag;
  • To refund to the complainant the amount of Rs 3 wrongly charged for the paper carry bag;
  • To pay Rs 3,000/- to the complainant towards compensation for mental and physical harassment;
  • To pay Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses;
  • By way of punitive damages, to deposit Rs 5,000 in the “Consumer Legal Aid Account”

Certified copies of the above order were directed to be sent free of cost. [Dinesh Parshad v. Bata (I) Ltd., Consumer Complaint No. CC/64/2019, Order date 09-04-2019]