Seeking damages of Rs 525 crore from the ethnic wear retail chain Fabindia over its allegedly unauthorised use of the registered trademark khadi, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has issued a fresh legal notice.
The KVIC issued the notice on January 29 through legal consultants Kochhar & Company, according to reports.
Under the government’s Khadi Mark Regulations, 2013, no organisation/institute/company can sell products using the word “khadi” without getting a Khadi Mark certificate. This certificate is obtained by applying online at the KVIC site after paying a registration fee of
Rs 10,000. It takes 40 days to grant the certificate, which is valid for a year.
The KVIC has alleged that Fabindia Overseas Private Limited was using the word khadi on its price tags and misleading consumers by selling factory made cotton garments spun in mechanised charkhas (spinning wheels) as khadi. The commission says that khadi can only be spun and woven in a hand-driven spinning wheel called Ambar charkha.
Describing the notice as baseless Fabindia denied any wrongdoing.
Fabindia has been given seven days from the date of receipt of the notice to comply with KVIC’s demand, failing which legal proceedings will be initiated against the ethnic wear brand founded by American businessman John L Bissell in 1960.
The KVIC and Fabindia have been locked in a battle over the issue since 2015, when the body issued a notice to the retail chain for the first time on the grounds that it had not applied for a certificate. It sent two more notices in the two subsequent years.