[Cordelia Cruise Ship] Special NDPS Court Grants SIT Additional 60 Days To File
. The Special NDPS Court granted the Narcotics Control Bureau’s SIT an extension of 60-days to file the charge sheet in the in the Cordelia drugs case in which Shah Rukh Khan’s son – Aryan – is an accused.
Special judge reserved orders after hearing the prosecution and counsels for two accused who are now the only ones still in prison.
Special Public Prosecutor said there were compelling reasons in the application to allow extension of time to file chargesheet including non-cooperation from the accused in giving their passwords and the necessity to re-record a “witness’s” statement, who is accused of corruption and currently in police’s custody.
Another, unfortunate but key development took place in this case when one of the prime witness “Prabhakar Sail” passed away due to a cardiac arrest on 1st April, 2022 in sudden circumstances. The Police has set up a team to investigate the reason behind his death.
Kerala High Court Asks Media To Refrain From Publishing Unverified/False Information
The Kerala High Court on 30th March, 2022 commented on the role of the media in the functioning of a democracy, and its responsibility to provide accurate information to its citizens while disposing of a suo motu case.
The division bench was adjudicating upon a suo-motu case it had launched after coming across a news report in a Malayalam daily Kerala Kaumudi alleging that in a temple in Tripunithura, devotees were made to wash the feet of 12 brahmins for the atonement of their sins. However, upon verification, it was discovered that it was the Tantri and not the devotees who washed the feet of 12 priests as part of the religious rituals.
Finding the news report to be incorrect, the Court made certain significant observations regarding the influence of media in the modern democracy. It noted that the media is the fourth pillar of democracy and that in all its forms it discharges a very onerous duty of keeping the citizens informed.
It also highlighted the sweeping influence the media has on people, and how they triggers dialogues and debates over different topics. However, in recent times, such duty hasn’t been discharged with responsibility as various reports of incorrect reporting has come to the fore.
The court observed that both given their influence in a vibrant democracy, electronic and print media should refrain from publishing incorrect, biased or unverified information and they must ensure that they are not providing the public with information that is factually wrong or based on unverified information.
Read order here.
Delhi HC asks Twitter to block account of user repeatedly posting objectionable content about Hindu gods and goddesses
The Delhi High Court asked Twitter why it cannot block the account of a user, found to be repeatedly posting objectionable content about Hindu gods and goddesses, when in the same breath the micro-blogging website has suspended former US President Donald Trump’s account.
The development ensued in a criminal writ petition, stating that the content uploaded on a Twitter account namely ‘Atheist Republic’ not only had abusive language with respect to Hindu goddesses, but also showed them in vulgar representations in the form of cartoons and graphics.
Vide order dated 29th October 2021, the Court had found prima facie substance in the complaint and had directed Twitter to take down the objectionable content. Subsequently, two more objectionable posts were uploaded by Atheist Republic thereafter which were not removed by Twitter promptly, where after the court had made taunting remarks on Twitter like ‘not using its own brain’ thereby indicating that Twitter was not complying with the requirement of due diligence to be observed by an Intermediary.
As per the provision of IT Rules, 2021, an intermediary can be held liable for any third party information if it does not observe “due diligence” while discharging its duties.
The Court has also directed the Central Government to examine if the user ‘Atheist India’ is repeatedly posting objectionable content and whether a case for blocking under of Section 69A is made out. The matter will now be heard on 6th September.
Case Title: Aditya Singh Deshwal v Union of India and Ors.
Allahabad High Court Grants Pre-Arrest Bail To Amazon Prime Video Head in Tandav (Web-series) Row
The Allahabad High Court has granted final anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime Video head Aparna Purohit who is facing an FIR registered in Lucknow, for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a bad light in the web series Tandav.
The applicant contended that she had not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiment and that she has no criminal history as well. It was also argued that there is no possibility of the applicant to flee from justice, therefore, she must be entitled for interim protection from this Court.
The court considered the overall facts and circumstances of the case and consequently, came to the conclusion that the applicant deserved to be granted anticipatory bail.
Purohit was seeking anticipatory bail in connection with FIR against her wherein under she has been booked for alleged commission of offences under Sections 66, 66F and 67 under IT Act and Sections 153-A, 295, 505(1)(b), 505(2) and 469 of IPC for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a bad light in the web series Tandav.
Read order here.
Delhi High Court Seeks ED’s Response On Journalist Rana Ayyub’s Plea Against Lookout Circular
The Delhi High Court sought response of the ED in the plea filed by Journalist Rana Ayyub against the agency’s action of restraining her from leaving the country.
An enquiry was initiated by Mumbai Zonal Office of the Enforcement Directorate under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against Ayyub last year over some funds received by her from the crowd funding campaigns on Ketto platform. It is Ayyub’s case that she had ran a third crowdfunding campaign on Ketto, for the purpose of providing help for Covid-19 impacted people across India during the deadly second wave of the pandemic in the country.
The court has posted the matter for further hearing on 4th April, 2022 seeking response from the ED.
Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs) must issue ‘prior notice’ to account holders against whom action will be taken: Centre to Delhi HC
The Centre has told the Delhi High Court that Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs) are expected to issue prior notice to the user before taking any action on the user account and that failure to comply with the same may amount to a violation of Information Technology (Intermediaries guidelines) Rules 2021.
The development came after the Central Government through Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology filed a counter affidavit in pleas challenging action of micro-blogging platform Twitter to permanently suspend user accounts namely “wokeflix” “MeghBulletin” and others. In a similar affidavit filed in the pleas, Centre has said that the platforms must respect the fundamental rights of the citizens and should not take down the account itself or completely suspend the user account in all cases.
Furthermore, Centre has submitted that if the intermediary platform falls under the Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMI) category as defined in the IT Rules, 2021, then as per rule 4(8) the SSMI is expected to issue a prior notification to the user explaining the action being taken and the grounds or reasons for taking such action.
Only in cases where the majority of the contents/posts/tweets in a user account are unlawful, the platform may take the extreme step of taking down the whole information or suspending the whole account, the Centre has said.
Centre has further averred that SSMIs must be held accountable for subjugating and supplanting fundamental rights like the right to freedom of speech and expression, otherwise the same would have direct consequences for any democratic nation.
The matters will now be heard on April 18.
Delhi High Court Passes Injunction Order Against Sithara Entertainment &Ors.
The Delh High Court granted an Ex-parte Ad-interim injunction against Sithara Entertainment till next date of the hearing for the Hindi dubbed version of the Telugu film titled “Bheemla Nayak” in the matter from releasing the same theatrically and/or on any platform or from distributing the same in any capacity.
Commercial Suit was instituted before the Delhi High Court by JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, against M/s. Sithara Entertainment and others. It was argued before the Court that in light of the Assignment of Hindi remake right in favour of JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, by the original Malayalam film’s producer the exclusivity to exploit the same would vest with JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, alone and any attempt by M/s. Sithara Entertainment would infringe upon the copyright and commercial rights of JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd. The court was further informed that the nature of rights granted by Gold Coin Motion Picture Company in favor of M/s. Sithara Entertainment was only restricted to remake and dubbing of the original Malayalam film in Telugu language alone, hence, copyright vested in favour of M/s. Sithara Entertainment would be restricted in Telugu language.
The matter is scheduled to be listed on 11th July 2022 before the Registrar and on 1st August 2022 before the Delhi High Court.
Read order here.
No Call To Have Expert Witness To Testify To Use Of Identical Mark In Registered Trademark Infringement Or Passing Off Cases: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court has observed that in a case of infringement of registered Trade Marks or passing off, similarity of the marks used is to be considered and that there is no call to have an expert witness to testify to the use of an identical or similar Trade Mark.
Justice Asha Menon added that the emphasis is on the branding and not on the manufacture of the goods in question. It is the false branding that results in the product being counterfeit.
Read order here.
Delhi HC Asks Controller General To Devise Proper Mechanism For Show Cause Hearings
Observing that refusal of a trademark without even affording an opportunity of hearing to the applicant would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of natural justice, the Delhi High Court has asked the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) to devise a proper mechanism for holding show cause hearings.
Noting that the Trademark Registry deals with lakhs of applications every year, Justice Pratibha M Singh opined that the utilization of a platform for virtual conference hearing wherein only three individuals are permitted to join at a time, would be grossly insufficient and an outdated mode of holding hearings.
It added that Lawyers, Applicants or Agents ought to be permitted to appear through the open link and make submissions before the Examiner so long as they do it in an orderly manner without disturbing the hearings being held.
Accordingly, in order to avoid inconvenience and expense for the applicants to knock the doors of High Courts by way of writ petitions for such procedural lapses, the Court asked the CGPDTM to device a proper mechanism for holding show cause hearings.
The Court was dealing with a petition raising a grievance that the trademark application of the Petitioner dated 24th October, 2018 in Class – 17 for the registration of the mark ‘SWISS’ was refused without even affording a hearing to the Petitioner. The case of the Petitioner was that two notices for hearing were given to him. Even though the agent for the Petitioner logged in for the hearing, the official concerned did not log in, on both the occasions.
Read order here.
Supreme Court grants Mumbai-based studio ownership of ‘Sholay’ in copyright dispute case
The Supreme Court on 29th March, 2022, granted Mumbai-based NH Studioz, the ownership of copyrights of the Bollywood cult classic ‘Sholay’.
The studio, which owns the copyrights of several Bollywood movies, was recently granted relief by the apex court in a case related to the copyright over the film.
Copyrights of Sholay were held by NH Studioz since 2015. The rights of the movie were recently claimed by Sippy Films and Goldmine Telefilms.
Earlier, Generation Three Entertainment and Sholay Media and Entertainment owned by Sippy Films had wrongly terminated the copyright agreement signed by the original producers.
NH Studioz challenged the stay put on by a division bench in the Supreme Court.
The matter was ruled in the favour of NH Studioz and the copyrights of the movie were successfully retained by the company.
Read order here.
EEMA announces single window permissions for events in India
Event & Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), the apex body for the event industry in India showcased the launch of the Single Window Clearance process for events.
The launch of Single Window Permissions for Events in India will facilitate towards bringing of more global events to India. This process will ease the entire flow of conducting events in the country.
In various cities, the event community faces several challenges in gathering permissions and licences for events, which in turn becomes a huge area of concern.
EEMA announced of this process in accordance with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Film Facilitation Office (FFO).
Event management attracts guests from all around the world and it gives a boost to tourism apart from providing employment and various other advantages. But in India, this has somehow remained sort of an unorganized sector and some competent private sector players face a lot of challenges as there is no authorized body under which all events can be organized. However, with this initiative, the compliance models for permissions for organizing events in India can be eased hopefully making India a preferred destination for such opportunities.
TRADEMARK DISPUTES THIS WEEK
Trademark Infringement: Delhi High Court Grants Permanent Injunction Against Now Banned ‘Club Factory’ Website In Suit By Louis Vuitton
The Delhi High Court has granted permanent injunction against ‘Club Factory’, a China based portal which was banned by the Indian Government amid pandemic, in the trademark infringement suit filed by luxury brand ‘Louis Vuitton’.
“www.clubfactory.com have been permanently restrained from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale directly or indirectly any goods including face masks etc., bearing the registered marks of Louis Vuitton on its portal or any other portal run by them.
Read order here.
Trademark Infringement: Delhi High Court Grants Interim Injunction In Favour Of “Magic Moments”, Restrains Mark ‘Evening Moment’
The Delhi High Court has granted ad interim injunction in favour of manufacturer of “MAGIC MOMENTS” liquor in a trademark infringement suit over use of the mark ‘EVENING MOMENT’ as being deceptively similar to it’s registered trademark for alcoholic beverages.
The court restrained Defendants from using the mark ‘EVENING MOMENT’ or any other mark consisting of the word ‘MOMENT/MOMENTS’ in respect of any alcoholic beverages manufactured, sold or offered by sale by them.
n the opinion of the Court, the word ‘MAGIC MOMENTS’ was an arbitrary word used for the products of the Plaintiff. Considering the overall facts and circumstances, the Court observed that the marks ‘MAGIC MOMENTS’ and ‘EVENING MOMENT’ were deceptively similar in view of the fact that the essential feature ‘MOMENT’ was being used in toto by the Defendants.
Read order here.
Delhi High Court Refuses Interim Injunction In Trademark Infringement Suit By Mankind Pharma Against RTPCR Testing Kit ‘OMISURE’
The Delhi High Court has refused to pass an ad interim injunction against Tata Medical and Diagnostics Limited, manufacturer of ‘OMISURE’, an RTPCR kit used for detecting COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The court was dealing with a suit filed by Mankind Pharma Limited seeking permanent injunction for infringement of their registered trademark ‘OMIPURE’.
The Court opined that the two marks in question, i.e., ‘OMIPURE’ and ‘OMISURE’ were not identical and that the pharmaceutical and medical preparations for which the Plaintiff’s mark was registered was not the product for which the Defendant was using the mark i.e., diagnostic kits.
Read order here.