The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has issued legal notices to two firms - Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global - stating that they are "unauthorisedly" and "fraudulently" using the brand name "Khadi", said the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises on Friday.
In a statement, KVIC said on Friday that the two firms are engaged in selling a range of cosmetic and beauty products through various e-commerce platforms using the brand name "Khadi" and thus misleading consumers.
"In the notices served to Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global in the first week of August, KVIC has asked them to immediately stop selling or promoting its products using the brand name "Khadi" while also canceling the domain names www.khadiessentials.com and www.khadiglobalstore.com respectively. The two firms have also been told to discontinue their social media handles on various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest," the release said.
The statement said the two firms have strictly been told to immediately stop selling products using the brand name of "Khadi" and destroy all product packaging, labels, publicity material, signboards, and any other business stationery using the brand names Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global respectively.
"KVIC has said that failing to comply with the instructions in seven days, legal action will be initiated against the firms," said the release.
As per the release, KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena in a statement said that any misuse of the brand name "Khadi" has a direct bearing on the livelihood of our artisans who are making genuine handcrafted products in remote parts of India.
"KVIC will take stern action against any individual or firm misusing the brand name Khadi. This is to safeguard the interest of Khadi artisans and prevent the sale of any spurious product in the name of Khadi," Saxena said.
KVIC has said that in the last few years it has acted tough against any misuse of its brand name "Khadi India" and infringement into its trademark, the statement said.
"So far KVIC has issued legal notices to over 1,000 private firms including Fabindia for misusing its brand name and selling 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," the release added.
PIB further said that the KVIC has also sought damages from these firms for causing harm to its reputation and loss of wages to Khadi artisans due to the sale of fake Khadi fabric.
"However, after legal notices were served, a majority of firms have apologised to KVIC and withdrawn their products, advertisements fraudulently using Khadi's name," the statement added.
(With ANI inputs)