8 July 2024


National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission





Exclusion of song from movie which was included in trailer amounts to unfair trade practice

The complainant, who is a teacher by profession, on watching the promos of the film, namely, “Fan” decided to watch the said film with her family members. When the complainant and her family members watched the movie, the song “Jabra Fan” was missing from the said movie. Feeling cheated and deceived, the complainant approached the concerned District Forum by way of a consumer complaint seeking compensation, alongwith a direction to the Petitioners to air the promos and song with a caveat that, the said song was not included in the film.

The complaint having been dismissed by the District Forum, the complainant approached the concerned State Commission by way of an appeal. The appeal was resisted by the Petitioner who submitted that, the complainant cannot be said to be a consumer. On merits, it was submitted that the song “Jabra Fan” was shown on TV Channels as a promotional trailer of the film and it had been disclosed to the public at large by way of press interviews that the said song will not be a part of the movie.

The State Commission, vide impugned order directed the Petitioner to pay compensation quantified at Rs.10, 000 to the complainant alongwith cost of litigation. Being aggrieved, the petitioner is before this Commission.

Consumer means a person who buys goods or hires or avails services for a consideration. The complainant having paid the price of the tickets of the movie “Fan” to the Exhibitor (Cinema Hall), for watching the said movie, it cannot be disputed that the consideration was duly paid by her though she may not have paid it directly to the petitioner which is the producer of the film “Fan”. However, it is not necessary that the consideration for purchasing goods or hiring or availing services must necessarily be paid directly to the person who sells the goods or renders services to the consumer. The consideration may also flow to the seller of the goods or the service provider as the case, may be 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. Therefore, it cannot be accepted that the complainant was not a consumer of the petitioner.

The term deficiency has been defined as under in Section 2(1)(g) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. "Deficiency" means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.

When the producer of a movie shows the promos of the said movie on TV Channels, etc. and such promos include a song, any person watching the promo would be justified in believing that the movie would contain the song shown in the said promos, unless the promo itself contains a disclaimer that the song will not be a part of the movie. 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. The practice of including a song in the promo of a film shown widely on TV Channels but excluding the said song while exhibiting the movie, constitutes an unfair trade practice. The exclusion of the song from the movie will also constitute a deficiency, as defined in Section (1)(g) of the C.P. Act, if the song is impliedly promised, but is later omitted while exhibiting the movie.

There is no justification to interfere with the impugned order in exercise of the revisional jurisdiction of this Commission. The revision petition is, therefore, dismissed.

Tags : Compensation Direction Validity

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