Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw vide order dated January 4, 2018 [read order here] in the matter of Indian Singers’ Rights Association vs Amit Kumar Chauhan & Ors and other combined matters, directed that subject to orders of the Hon’ble Chief Justice, all these suits/ proceedings in relation to the ISRA issue be listed together on March 22, 2018.
Further, the Delhi HC permitted Super Cassettes Industries Pvt. Ltd and Saregama India Ltd to intervene in the suits, not by filing written statement but by filing an affidavit along with documents setting up their contentions on the legal issues which arise.
While passing the order, Justice Endlaw observed that “ I am of the view that for considering and adjudicating the legal question which arises as aforesaid and for further considering and adjudicating, what are the rights of the members of the plaintiff; whether the rights of the members of the plaintiff are only in the voice which alone they contribute; and, whether rights also subsist when the said voice is only a part of the performance comprising of several other elements not performed by the said members and in which the members of the plaintiff do not have any right, etc. the presence of Super Cassettes Industries Pvt. Ltd. and Saregama India Ltd. which appear to controvert the rights claimed/asserted by plaintiff in these suits, is essential. It also appears that the defendants, against whom the suits have been filed, may not even be interested in contesting the suits and the ex parte decree for injunction if any which may follow, in favour of the plaintiff and against the said defendants would not bind the parties seeking impleadment.”
ISRA is a registered copyright society for singers (performers) and has filed suits against several restaurants in Delhi for playing music without obtaining license from ISRA and payment of royalties to its singer members. A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court on November 2, 2017 [read order here] had set aside three compromise decrees recognizing settlement deeds between ISRA and the hotel defendants. The compromise applications between ISRA and the defendant restaurants were originally allowed by the single bench and then set aside by the division bench of the Delhi High Court on an appeal filed by the music labels. The Division Bench headed by Justice Bhat set aside the compromise decrees on the grounds that the Single Judge was obliged to hear the Order 1 Rule 10 applications filed by the music labels before he decided the motion to compromise the lawsuits.