Rajya Sabha MPs demand law to make celebrities endorsing Advertisements liable

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New Delhi | Updated: Apr 28, 2016 8:34 PM

MPs from Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Rajya Sabha today demanded enacting a law to make celebrities liable for the products they endorse in a bid to ensure consumers are not misguided.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to face the opposition of people in Noida for endorsing a real estate company. (Reuters)Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to face the opposition of people in Noida for endorsing a real estate company. (Reuters)

MPs from Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Rajya Sabha today demanded enacting a law to make celebrities liable for the products they endorse in a bid to ensure consumers are not misguided.

SP member Naresh Agarwal raised the issue during Zero Hour saying that a new fashion of becoming brand ambassadors has emerged and there were filmstars, sports personalities or religious figures who endorsed products which people buy believing them.

He said Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to face the opposition of people in Noida for endorsing a real estate company.

Actor Salman Khan too endorsed a medical product, Agrawal said, after which SP member Jaya Bachchan suggested that Agrawal should not get “filmy”.

Continuing further, Agrawal said that in other countries, there are laws which make celebrities endorsing a product, which fails to make up to the standards projected, liable.

There is a need for strong law in India too so that people are not cheated, he said.

He noted that a Parliamentary Committee has submitted a report in this regard and it should be considered by the government.

Later, Shantaram Naik of Congress raised the issue, pressing for a legislation to protect the interests of the consumers.

Naik said there is a need to ensure that consumers are protected from being “misguided by celebrity endorsements of consumer products”.

Earlier this week, a Parliamentary Standing Committee has recommended stringent provisions including jail term up to five years and hefty penalty of up to 50 lakh in order to protect consumer interest in a bid to make celebrities accountable for misleading ads.

Another demand made in the Zero Hour, which found support of members from all sides, was to issue strict instructions to CPWD and other agencies incharge of buidings to put in place appropriate fire safety arrangements and remove encroachments to prevent accidents.

The issue was raised by Shiv Sena member Anil Desai in the context of the recent blaze which gutted the National Museum of Natural History in Delhi. He said people across the world take care of their museums and there are adequate fire fighting systems.

“Why was there no fool-proof fire safety arrangement,” Desai asked while raising questions about the responsibility of the Director of the museum and the concerned ministry.

He urged the government to take appropriate steps in this regard after which Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said all members associate with this demand.

Raising the Odd-Even policy, Congress member Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu said it was creating a divide between the “haves and have-nots”, claiming that such experiments in Latin America and China were not successful.

He said Delhi Government was behaving like an “emperor” and not concerned about the condition of the people especially those belonging to poor and middle class.

JMM member Sanjiv Kumar raised the issue of land aquisition and problems of displaced people especially in Jharkhand, while Congress member Sanjay Kumar Singh said clear instructions should be given to include members of ‘gadariya’ (shepherd) community in the Scheduled Castes list.

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