Saregama India Limited vs Union of India & Ors update: Delhi High Court grants interim stay in favour of Saregama[ Read order]

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The Delhi High Court on February 12, 2018 granted an interim stay on the Section 31D (of Copyright Act, 1957) interim statutory license which was granted by the Copyright Office in favour of M/s Kuku & Koyal Internet now known as M/S Kuku & Koyal Internet Pvt .Ltd. [Read details of the interim license in my post here], until the next date of hearing.

Read order here.

Saregama has filed the petition, inter alia, impugning the order dated April 10, 2017 passed by the Deputy Registrar of Copyrights, granting an ‘interim statutory license under Section 31(D)(1) of the Copyright Act, 1957 to Respondent No. 4 (Kuku & Koyal Internet now known as M/S Kuku & Koyal Internet Pvt .Ltd). The petitioner contended that the said license is without jurisdiction as in terms of Section 31D of the Copyright Act, the authority to issue the said license is with the ‘Appellate Board’ and not the Registrar of Copyright.

The counsel for the Respondents No. 1 to 3 argued that the interim license was granted in furtherance of the order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 21, 2016 in CWP 21945/ 2016 in the matter of Inderjit Singh and And vs Union of India & Ors.

The Delhi High Court observed that a plain reading of the Punjab HC order does not indicate that it had directed the Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Copyright to pass an order contrary to the provisions of the Act. The Court had merely directed the respondents to decide the representations filed on behalf of the petitioner therein.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru accordingly was of the prima facie view that the Registrar of Copyright did not have the power to issue a statutory license and no such license could be granted by him contrary to the law. Accordingly, the interim statutory license granted by the Copyright Office has been stayed till the next date of hearing.

Edit: Super Cassettes Industries Pvt. Ltd obtained a similar order on Feb 12, 2018. Read order here.

The matter is next listed on February 22, 2018.

Image source: here