The NCDRC on Tuesday held that inclusion of a song in the promo of the movie when it is not actually a part of the movie deceives viewers and amounts to unfair trade practice, under Section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act.
With this observation, Justice VK Jain (presiding member) has directed Yash Raj Films to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to the Petitioner, who was disappointed by exclusion of the song 'Jabra Fan', from Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Fan'.
"If a person likes the song shown in the promo and based upon such liking decides to visit a cinema hall for watching the said movie for a consideration, he is bound to feel deceived, disappointed and dejected if the song shown in the promo is not found in the film. 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," the Commission said.
The Commission held that the "obvious purpose" behind excluding the song was to draw the potential viewers to the cinema hall by "luring them with the song", thereby making gain at the cost of the viewer.
The YRF had argued that the Producer and Actor of the movie had declared publicly that the song which forms part of the promo would not be a part of the movie.
Rejecting this argument, the NCDRC held,
"…the said disclosure, even if it was made, would not be sufficient since it is not necessary that a person who watches the promo containing the song would also happen to see the interview given by the actor/producer of the movie.
…When the producer of a movie shows the promos of the said movie on TV Channels, etc. and such promos include a song, any person watching the promo would be justified in believing that the movie would contain the song shown in the said promos, unless the promo itself contains a disclaimer that the song will not be a part of the movie."
The Commission further held that if the song is impliedly promised but is later omitted while exhibiting the movie, then such an exclusion will also constitute a deficiency, as defined in Section (1)(g) of the Consumer Protection Act.
Justice Jain lastly observed,
"I fail to understand the logic behind including the 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 the cinema halls."
The Petitioner had approached the district forum which had rejected her petition. her appeal was allowed by the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission, which directed the YRF to compensate her with Rs 10,000 along with litigation cost of Rs 5,000, in the year 2017.
Case Title: Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. v. Afreen Fatima Zaidi & Anr.
Case No.: Revision Petition No. 156/2018
Quorum: Justice VK Jain
Appearance: Advocates Jayant K. Mehta and Suveni Bhagat (For Petitioner); Advocate Suman Chauhan (For CBFC)
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