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SC Overturns NCDRC Decision, Clears Yash Raj Films of Penalty in 'Fan' Promotional Song Dispute

SC Overturns NCDRC Decision, Clears Yash Raj Films of Penalty in 'Fan' Promotional Song Dispute

On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned a ruling by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) that found Yash Raj Films (YRF) responsible for a penalty regarding the exclusion of the promotional song 'Jabra Fan' from the Shahrukh Khan-led movie 'Fan'.

Justices PS Narasimha and Aravind Kumar announced that the Supreme Court has overturned the NCDRC's decision, which mandated Yash Raj Films (YRF) to pay ₹10,000 as compensation to a disgruntled moviegoer who objected to the absence of the 'Jabra Fan' song during the screening of the film in theaters.

"We have formulated as to what are the implications of a promo song and trailer, and the contractual obligations thereto. We have allowed the appeal," the Supreme Court Bench said this morning.

YRF had contested a 2021 NCDRC ruling prompted by a complaint from Afreen Fatima Zaidi. Zaidi alleged deception, stating that the song 'Jabra Fan', featured in the film's promos and trailers, was omitted during the actual theatrical screenings.

Zaidi asserted before the consumer forum that her children refrained from eating the night they went to see the movie due to their disappointment over the absence of the song. This resulted in elevated acidity levels and subsequent hospitalization.

The NCDRC determined that featuring a song in the movie's promotional material, despite its exclusion from the actual film, constituted a deception of viewers. Consequently, this practice was deemed an unfair trade practice under Section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act.

YRF contested this ruling before the Supreme Court, contending that the "Jabra" song was promotional material and not a mandatory inclusion in the film. In September 2021, the Supreme Court temporarily halted the NCDRC's order against Yash Raj Films. Today, the apex court completely overturned the consumer forum's decision.

 

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