Nikhil Jain saw the advertisement of a fairness cream named Fair & Handsome, on television. Influenced by the claims made about the effect of the cream on one’s skin colour, he went to a nearby store and bought it on Oct. 8, 2012.
While the advertisement assured a change in skin colour from dark to fair in just three weeks, he was disappointed to see no difference in spite of using the cream regularly.
So he contacted his brother, Paras Jain, who is currently a 2nd year law student at Amity Law School, Noida. Paras helped him file a consumer complaint, accusing the brand, Emami, of causing mental injury to the customer and playing with his emotions.
The brothers fought for two and half years to stop these unfair trade practices by the popular brand.
“We researched and found out that about 90 to 95 percent of such products have no relevance. They are promoted openly but actually do not help consumers in any way. We wanted to create awareness about it among the masses,” says Paras.
After regular hearings and follow ups, the duo won the case on Nov. 3, 2015. Emami has been told to withdraw the particular advertisement within 30 days.
Additionally, the company has also been asked to pay a compensation of Rs. 10,000 to Nikhil and a fine of Rs. 15,00,000 to the Consumer Complaint forum.
This is not the first time that Paras has raised his voice against such issues. He once filed an RTI to get information about the amount charged by the universities and institutes to allow students to see their mark sheets. While many institutes charged Rs. 500 – Rs. 1,000, the permissible amount is just Rs. 2. Paras filed a case against the institutes and the Supreme Court passed a judgement in his favour. He is also the founder of a Facebook group called RTI Anonymous.