Vadodara, October 22, 2018: Former cricketer Kapil Dev and actors Govinda and Ravi Kishan have been fined by a consumer disputes redressal forum for allowing a club, which duped people using the photographs of the celebrities in a promotional campaign.
In an order passed on October 20, the forum ordered Dev, Govinda and Ravi Kishan to pay Rs 15,000 to each of the 18 complainants.
The forum held the trio liable for adopting unfair trade practices because the promoters of the Sunstar Club used their videos and photographs to attract people to invest in the scheme, which promised them a monthly free stay of three days in select hotels across the country, it said.
The scheme was announced by one Raman Kapoor and his wife Seema Kapoor last June.
The investors had moved the forum with complaints of deficient service and unfair trade practices against the company, after they failed to avail of the promised benefits.
The forum members J N Brahmbhatt, Nilam Bhavsar and M D Nirmal also found that the promoters had used photographs and videos of Dev, Govinda and Ravi Kishan to lure consumers — each of them paid in the range of Rs 1.2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh — to avail the benefits of the scheme.
As per the order, firm Good Luck Hotels Pvt. Ltd has been directed to refund membership fees collected from the consumers along with the interest and cost, totalling over Rs 32 lakh.
The forum has directed an award of Rs 20,000 to each of the 18 complainants while holding the three celebrities liable for adopting unfair trade practices.
The forum directed Dev, Govinda and Ravi Kishan each to pay Rs 15,000 to every single complainant, the order said.
The Kapoors had held a conference in a city hotel in June last year and collected money from the people on the promise of providing them a monthly free stay of three days in hotels affiliated to the firm across the country. They also promised to refund the amount after 20 years.
The aggrieved people had approached the forum through a voluntary consumer organisation.
The company had projected the three celebrities as its joint directors and gave wide publicity to their photographs as well as a “certificate of directorship” in the booklets as well as local newspapers, the forum said.
The celebrities were given an opportunity to present their side before the forum, but they did not appear. — PTI