It is no secret that we Indians attach great importance to fairness. It is almost considered a virtue here. The television and magazines are flooded with ads promising fairness as a sure-shot way to win in life. No job? Try a fairness cream. No girlfriend? Get fair and the ladies will drool over you. Well, this time a fairness company got on the wrong side of a customer.
A 23-year-old executive, Nikhil Jain, had purchased Emami Fair And Handsome cream that promised fairness in 3 weeks, on 8th October 2012. Of course, even after using it for a month, the desired results weren’t achieved. Apparently, Nikhil had bought the product after being influenced by a Shah Rukh Khan ad endorsing the cream that claimed to make one fair in just 3 weeks.
And so, Nikhil, with the help of his brother who was a law student at the time, decided to sue the fairness company Emami for misguiding consumers and making false claims. Together they filed a complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (Central).
His brother Paras told the court that the case was “to protect other men so that unfair practices in the name of fairness can be stopped”.
After 3 years of pursuing the case, a district court has finally implicated Emami and slapped a fine of rs 15 lakh on it! Emami has also been asked to remove all ads that claim magical transformations and instant fairness.
While Nikhil got a compensation of Rs 10,000 as he did not demand damages, the rest of the amount will be directed to the consumer welfare fund of Delhi’s state consumer commission.
Only a while ago, Maharashtra FDA had ordered fairness creams to be withdrawn from the market after it was found they contained steroids.