The Supreme Court yesterday (September 20) issued notice on a special leave petition filed by Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd., challenging the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), directing the production house to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation to a consumer who felt disappointed by the exclusion of the Jabra fan song from Fan. The apex court also stayed the operation of the NCDRC order against YRF. A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanium issued notice on the petition.
It was argued in the petition that the song was meant only for promotional purposes, and that YRF was under no obligation to include it in the film. It was further argued that this fact was widely publicised by all the stakeholders.
One Afreen Fatima Zaidi had complained that she was cheated on account of the song Jabra fan not being shown in the film in spite of being shown in the promos and trailers of the film. She claimed that her children did not eat food after watching the film as they were disappointed that the song was not part of the film, which resulted in a spike in their acidity levels and hospitalisation.
While the District Consumer Forum rejected her plea, the State Commission of Maharashtra allowed her appeal and directed YRF to compensate her with Rs. 10,000 along with litigation cost of Rs. 5,000, in year 2017. A revision petition against the said order was dismissed by the NCDRC in February 2021. The National Commission was of the view that inclusion of the song in the film’s promo, when it is not actually a part of the film, deceives viewers and amounts to unfair trade practice under section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act. It observed that 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.