Mumbai: A case has been filed by KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission) against Fabindia, a retailer of ethnic garments in Bombay High Court. KVIC has alleged that Fabindia is selling factory-made cotton garments under the brand name of ‘Khadi’.
KVIC has asked the ethnic retailer to pay Rs. 525 crore against the damages for the loss of profit earned by using ‘Khadi’ trademark. Law firm Kochhar & Co. is representing KVIC. Fabindia has denied of receiving any communication in this regard and the spokesperson said that since we are not aware of any such matter so it would not be appropriate to comment on this at the moment.
Earlier, it was informed by Fabindia that discussions are going on with KVIC to sort out the matter since 2015, whereas as per the information shared by KVIC, no rights have been given to Fabindia to sell garments under the brand name of Khadi. The rights were not given at the backdrop of Fabindia not meeting up procedural norms. The rights have been granted to Raymond and Arvind Mills to use the Khadi trademark.
KVIC is the agency which is responsible for promoting Khadi and village industries.
Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC said that the primary motive of the agency is to protect its reputation and in order to do so there will be no hesitation in taking strict measures against those who violate the rules and regulations framed for the benefits of rural artisans attached to the agency.
It was found out by KVIC that despite warnings Fabindia was selling its garments in the name and style of Khadi. Rather Fabindia had even assured the agency that it would not sell the garments but still, it was not followed.
According to the complaint filed by KVIC, samples were tested from Fabindia around July 2015 and the results showed that they were not the products of Khadi and the ethnic retailer was selling factory-made cotton garments in the guise of Khadi.
Following which a notice was sent by KVIC to Fabindia for the violation of the regulation caused by the retailer’s alleged illegal and unauthorized use of the Khadi mark. Fabindia was asked not to sell the garments on the brand name of Khadi and to discontinue the issuing of advertisement for Khadi products across media.
Responding to the notice, Fabindia informed KVIC through a letter dated August 16, 2016, that, advertisement campaigns have been stopped and internal directions have been given to stop selling the garments with brand name Khadi.
Things turned to be worst when KVIC discovered that Fabindia is using the Khadi tag on its products. It was then when a legal notice was served by KVIC to Fabindia7 in 2017, which asked Fabindia to stop using the brand name and also pay the compensation for the losses caused to the KVI.