Emami fined Rs. 15 lakh for fairness cream advt

A consumer court has imposed a penalty of Rs. 15 lakh on Emami Limited for “misrepresenting” to the public about its fairness cream for men. The District Forum (Central), Delhi, held that Emami had adopted unfair trade practices by claiming through its advertisements that its product ‘Fair and Handsome Cream’ would give men fairer skin in three weeks.

Actor Shah Rukh Khan is the brand ambassador for the product and regularly appears in the advts, said complainant Nikhil Jain. “After using the cream for three weeks, I did not see any difference on my face,” he said in his complaint. The Forum has directed Emami to withdraw the advts.

Docs endorsing oral care products are violating code

The Dental Council of India (DCI) is likely to initiate action against dentistry practitioners endorsing oral healthcare products like toothpastes and mouthwash, citing it to be violation of the Code of Ethics of a medical practitioner. The DCI claimed that Delhi State Dental Council has already sent notices to a female dentist, who graduated from India and is now practicing in UK. She has been endorsing products claiming to check sensitivity.

“This is illegal and ethically wrong. The State Dental Council has to send notices and take action. We will cancel their registration as practitioners and remove them from the rolls of dentistry in the country,” said DCI president Dibyendu Mazumder.

Investors can’t drag brokers to consumer court

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has a reminder for investors: you can’t take your broker to a consumer court if you lose money in the markets. Sebi has clearly laid down the framework for investor redressal and every exchange has an arbitration panel in place to hear such investor complaints.

Sebi says where a person engages a broker for the purpose of regular purchase and sale of shares, it falls within the scope of ‘commercial purpose’. Hence, any dispute arising solely out of such commercial transactions may not fall within the scope of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

TPAs have no right to reject policies, says Irdai

The over-dependence of insurance companies on third party administrators (TPAs) has given rise to malpractices, due to which the policyholders suffer. To plug claims mismanagement, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) recently clarified in its draft health insurance regulations that TPAs have no right to reject claims and such power lies exclusively with insurance companies. It also clarified that TPAs should only administer cashless claims.

Often, TPAs reject claims citing lack of documents or other discrepancies. Or give you a list of deductions they have applied to bring down the claim amount. There have also been instances where the TPAs have solicited business like agents. Strictly, they can’t do it, as they are not licensed to sell. Their job is to service and process claims.

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