KVIC cancels certification of its oldest Khadi institution for selling fake products

New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) Khadi and Village Industries Commission on Saturday said it has cancelled the Khadi Certification issued to its oldest Khadi institution, the Mumbai Khadi & Village Industries Association, for alleged sale of spurious non-Khadi products.

The institution was running the Khadi Emporium at Metropolitan Insurance House, a heritage building, located in Mumbai since 1954.

“With cancellation of the registration, Khadi Emporium ceases to be a genuine Khadi outlet and is no longer permitted to sell Khadi products from the Emporium. “KVIC is also contemplating legal action against the MKVIA for criminal breach of trust and cheating public at large by misusing the credibility and popularity of brand Khadi,” an official statement said.

The action came after KVIC found that the Khadi Emporium at Dr D.N. Road was selling non-Khadi products in the guise of genuine Khadi. During routine inspection, its officials collected samples from the Emporium that were found to be non-Khadi products.

Consequently, KVIC issued a legal notice to MKVIA for flouting the norms of “Khadi Certificate” and “Khadi Mark Certificate” issued by the Commission.

KVIC had, in the year 1954, handed over the operation and management of Khadi Emporium to MKVIA, a registered Khadi institution, on the strict condition that it would sell only “Genuine Khadi Products” from the emporium, the statement said.

However, in recent years, MKVIA had indulged in unfair trade practices by selling fake Khadi products and thus cheating people who were under the impression that this Emporium was being run by KVIC, it added.

In the last few years, KVIC has acted tough against the misuse of its brand name “Khadi India” and infringement into its trademark.

So far, KVIC has issued legal notices to over 1,200 individuals and firms including retail brand Fabindia for allegedly misusing the brand name “Khadi” and selling non-Khadi products under the name of “Khadi”.

KVIC has sought damages to the tune of Rs 500 crore from Fabindia which is pending before the Mumbai High Court. Last year, KVIC also forced online shopping portals – Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal – to take down 140 web links that were selling non-Khadi products as “Khadi”, the statement said. PTI RSN MR MR

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