The accused in a case involving ‘false propaganda’ against coconut oil manufacturer KLF Nirmal Industries has apologised, bringing it to a closure before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam.
The case involved the accused Ansari CA, a non-resident based in Muscat, uploading a video on YouTube implicating that ‘KLF Nirmal Coconad Coconut Oil is adulterated and contained paraffin wax,’ causing reputational harm to the manufacturer.
The two have now agreed to amicably settle the case before the court ‘without further recourse to further litigation’, but subject to certain conditions. Accordingly, the accused has agreed to put up a post on Facebook stating that “it was a mistake to jump to conclusions with regard to the lumps (in coconut oil) without getting them tested, harming KLF’s reputation.” He further apologised to the company “for uploading the video” and submitted that “he was grateful to the company for clarifying (his) apprehensions”.
He has also agreed to post the apology as an audio file on Facebook and YouTube and broadcast it to all of his WhatsApp contacts. Considering these, the company chose to withdraw the case and the court has ended the legal proceedings.
The accused had admitted he was mistaken by a false video which he had chosen to propagate, but was now convinced that KLF Coconad Coconut Oil is not adulterated.
In addition to these, he also bought two samples of the coconut oil brands recently and got tested them at the the Muscat Municipality Laboratory which too had found the oil ‘pure and unadulterated’.
A ‘lesson for people’
Paul Francis, Managing Director, KLF Nirmal Industries, said coconut oil comprises fatty acid molecules which freeze below 25 degree Celsius and settle down as granules at the bottom of the pack. “The accused had insinuated that these sediments were paraffin wax on account of which the KLF brand — known for purity and quality — had suffered heavy loss in sales, Francis said.
The company has been in the business of coconut oil products for more than 75 years now, which makes it a responsible business house, he recalled. “We want this to be a lesson for people trying to malign reputed products and business houses in the market by spreading rumours through social media accounts.”
In December 2017, that the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, found that there was prima facie evidence in the case and had started legal proceedings.