MPs from Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Rajya Sabha on Thursday 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 live up to the standards projected, liable.
There is a need for a 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 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.
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