After ‘fake-khadi scam’, KVIC blacklists Mumbai’s famed Khadi Emporium (Ld)

In a shocker, the Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has cancelled the ‘Khadi Certification’ of Mumbai’s 68-year-old and famed ‘Khadi Emporium’, and banned it from sale of khadi products henceforth, an official said here on Saturday.

The development came after the KVIC detected that fake and non-khadi products were being sold from the Khadi Emporium located in the prime area near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, in the heritage building Metropolitan Insurance House, on Dr D.N. Road.

During a routine inspection, the KVIC officials took away samples from Khadi Emporium that were found to be fake/non-khadi products being passed off to the customers as ‘genuine khadi’.

The KVIC slapped a legal notice to the Mumbai Khadi & Village Industries Association (MKVIA), its approved distributors, for flouting norms of the ‘Khadi Certificate’ and ‘Khadi Mark Certificate’, which now stand cancelled.

“With cancellation of the registration, Khadi Emporium ceases to be a genuine Khadi Outlet and is no longer permitted to sell Khadi products,” the KVIC said.

It has also warned the MKVIA – which reportedly runs other branches in Mumbai and outside – of legal action for criminal breach of trust, cheating the people at large by misusing the credibility and popularity of the Khadi brand.

The KVIC had handed over the management of the Khadi Emporium to MKVIA in 1954 with the strict condition to sell only genuine khadi products.

However, in recent years, the MKVIA allegedly indulged in unfair trade practices like selling fake khadi products, duping the gullible customers who were under the impression that the Khadi Emporium was run by the KVIC.

The once venerable Khadi Emporium was the top destination for buying khadi products from locals, domestic and international tourists, including many celebs and VVIP lovers of the comfy fabric created by Mahatma Gandhi, which has attained global popularity.

In its tough drive against fake khadi products, in the past few years, the KVIC has served legal notices to over 1,200 individuals and firms across the country.

This includes a reputed one like FabIndia accused of misusing the ‘Khadi India’ trademark brand to sell non-khadi products, and the KVIC has sought damages of Rs 500 crore with the case pending before the Bombay High Court.

Last year, the KVIC targeted online shopping portals like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal to take down 140 weblinks that were hawking non-khadi products and misusing the official brand name.

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