Fabindia gives an undertaking not to use the word ‘Khadi’

Mumbai: Ethnic clothing retailer Fabindia has given an undertaking to the court that it will not use the term Khadi in their current or future products. The company will also file its response to a petition filed by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in four weeks.

On Monday, Janak Dwarkadas, senior counsel who was representing Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd, informed the court that the company is giving an undertaking that it will not use the term ‘Khadi’ in their products and even if they do so, they will inform to KVIC in this regard.

Justice S.J. Kathawala, who was hearing the case had accepted the undertaking of the company and gave Fabindia four weeks’ time to submit its response in the matter.

KVIC had moved the Bombay High Court on June 13 against the ethnic brand Fabindia alleging that it was ‘illegally’ using its trademark ‘charkha’ and selling apparel with the ‘khadi’ tag.

The KVIC, in its suit, has sought damages to the tune of Rs 525 crore from Fabindia. The development is a major victory for KVIC since it has sought the court’s intervention to restrain Fabindia from using the ‘khadi’ tag.

“The KVIC has sought monetary damages for loss of profit due to Fabindia using the ‘khadi’ trademark. The suit claims that Fabindia sells factory-made cotton garments under the guise of ‘khadi’,” said a lawyer on the condition of anonymity. “Now, since the company has agreed not to use the term ‘Khadi’, the dispute about damage and compensation will commence.”

In earlier hearings, the lawyers appearing for the KVIC had argued that Fabindia continued to sell garments in the name and style of ‘khadi’, despite several correspondences sent to them by the authorities and also a legal notice issued to them in February this year, asking them to refrain from doing so.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME).

According to the Khadi Mark Regulations, 2003, and Khadi & Village Industries Commission Act, 1956, “no textile shall be sold or otherwise traded by any person, or certified Khadi institution as ‘Khadi products’, in any form or manner, without it bearing a ‘Khadi Mark’ tag or label issued by KVIC”.

Law firm Kochar & Co is advising KVIC in the dispute while Fabindia is being represented by AZB & Partners.

The development was reported by livemint.com

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