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Supreme Court stays NCDRC order directing YRF to compensate viewer for excluding ‘Jabra Fan’ song from Shah Rukh Khan movie Fan

In the plea, Yash Raj Films said they had informed prior to the release of the film Fan that Jabra Fan was only a promotional song

On September 20, the Supreme Court of India stayed an order issued by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in which the forum had directed Yash Raj Films Pvt Ltd to pay Rs.10,000 as compensation along with litigation costs to the complainant Afreen Fatima Zaidi. Reportedly, Zaidi had filed a case in the consumer court against YRF for excluding the ‘Jabra Fan’ song from the movie Fan starring Shah Rukh Khan.

Acting on the petition filed by Yash Raj Films Pvt Ltd, a bench comprising of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanium issued notices to the Central Board of Film Certification and the complainant in the matter.

The promotional song ‘Jabra Fan’ from the movie fan over which the whole case has been based upon

Zaidi claimed her family felt disappointed

In her complaint, Zaidi, who is a teacher by profession, had alleged that she and her children went to see the movie Fan based on the trailer that included the Jabra Fan song. However, the song was missing from the movie. As a result, her children were disappointed and did not eat food after coming back from the theatre. It led to a spike in their acidity levels and hospitalization.

The petition was first filed by her in the district consumer forum that dismissed the petition. Zaidi did not stop there and moved to the state commission. After hearing the arguments, the State Commission directed Yash Raj Films Pvt Ltd to pay Rs.10,000 along with the litigation fees under applicable Sections of the Consumer Protection Act. Yash Raj Films moved to the National Forum against the decision.

NCDRC called it unfair trade practice

In the order, NCDRC stated that as the complainant had paid for the ticket, though not directly to the producer, i.e. YRF, the producer can be still held responsible. The forum had said, “The consideration may also flow to the seller of the goods or the service provider as the case, maybe through an intermediary. The complainant paid the price of the ticket to the Exhibitor. The price of the ticket received by the Exhibitor, after excluding the tax component, is shared between the Exhibitor, Distributor and Producer of the movie. This is not the case of the petitioner that no part of the price of the tickets was received by them through the Exhibitor/Distributor of the movie. Therefore, it cannot be accepted that the complainant was not a consumer of the petitioner.” NCDRC said that excluding the song from the movie was an ‘unfair trade practice’ and imposed a fine on YRF.

YRF said they informed viewers about the exclusion of the song

In its plea, Yash Raj Films stated that it was disclosed to the public via press interviews that the song Jabra Fan would not be a part of the movie. The company further claimed that the complainant was not a direct customer of the production house; thus, they could not be termed as a party in the case. The payment was made to the theatre and not to the production house directly.

Did YRF inform Jabra Fan would not be part of the movie?

We checked the series of events around the release of the song and the movie to see if what YRF was saying was correct. The movie Fan was released on April 15, 2016. The song Jabra Fan was released on February 16, 2016, as a promotion. The complainant said that she was not aware that it was just a promo song, but YRF is correct in its defence that they had informed the public that it was a promo song.

There are several reports immediately after the release of the song saying that it would be played in credentials. Such reports could be found here and here. The production house had said, “The film won’t feature the song, but this will make it to the end credits for sure. This song celebrates the fandom that everyone enjoys, especially Shah Rukh Khan in India and abroad. So it won’t be missed for sure.”

It is evident that it was properly informed that the song was only part of the promotions, but it was said to have had been played during the credits towards the end of the movie. As most of the viewers leave the theatre as soon as the credit reel starts, it is possible Zaidi and her family left the theatre thinking the movie had ended and missed the song.

Read- Suresh Chavhanke vs Shah Rukh Khan on Twitter: Here is what happened

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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