Delhi HC bars Ghaziabad based firm from selling Khadi Prakritik paints

The Delhi High Court has barred Ghaziabad based JBMR Enterprises from manufacturing and selling the Khadi Prakritik paints manufactured by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). According to KVIC, a Ghaziabad-based trader, who fraudulently started manufacturing and selling counterfeit Khadi Prakritik Paint, was ordered by the Court on June 4 to stop all such activities immediately.

The court noted that the defendant JBMR Enterprises, owned by one Umesh Pal, has indulged in “counterfeiting” by illegally using the “Khadi” brand name and copying the name and packaging of “Khadi Prakritik Paint” in order to mislead the consumers and hamper the “goodwill and reputation” of Khadi.

Khadi Prakritik Paint is a unique, innovative paint made from cow dung. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial paint was launched by Union Minister of MSME Nitin Gadkari on January 12 this year.

“The plaintiff (KVIC) has established a prima facie case in its favour. An irreparable loss would be caused to the plaintiff, i.e. KVIC, in case an interim injunction is not granted. Accordingly, till the next date of hearing, the defendant is restrained from manufacturing, advertising or selling products under the trademark Khadi, amounting to infringement thereof,” the bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula ordered.

The court also directed JBMR Enterprises to stop operating its website and take down its Facebook account under the tradename “Khadi Prakritik Paint” and suspend its email ID using the Khadi paint. The court has directed for compliance of the order within 7 days.

The counsel for KVIC also submitted in the court that the defendant JBMR Enterprises was also selling counterfeit “Khadi Prakritik Paint” on third party websites such as IndiaMart and TradeIndia. Further, it was using the official logo of the Ministry of MSME on its website to mislead consumers into believing that JBMR Enterprises was a government affiliate.

“In February 2021, KVIC noticed that counterfeit paints were being manufactured by the defendant under the marks ‘Khadi Prakritik Paint’, ‘Prakritik Paint’ and ‘Vedica Prakritik Paint. Accordingly, on February 8, a legal notice was sent to the defendant but received no response. On May 4, 2021, KVIC instituted Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) proceedings against the domain name,” the petition said.

However, the defendant responded saying he took training from KVIC and is having a franchise of Khadi Prakritik Paint. It is pertinent to mention that KVIC has “not outsourced the manufacturing or marketing of Khadi Prakritik Paint” to any agency.

KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said it was a clear case of “fraud” to reap undue gains from Khadi’s popularity. He cautioned people from falling in such traps and appealed to the consumers to buy any Khadi product from Khadi outlets and Khadi e-portal only. Saxena said, “KVIC has not authorised any agency to manufacture or sell Khadi Prakritik Paint. The High Court order would deter individuals and firms from illegally using the brand name Khadi.”

Saxena added that KVIC will act strictly against such frauds. In recent times, KVIC has won several cases for violation of its trademark “Khadi”.