Weekly Legal Updates (21 May to 27 May 2023)

Weekly Legal Updates main objective is to update the legal knowledge of law students, lawyers, academicians and other professionals. If we do not update our legal knowledge regularly, our knowledge become redundant.

SC asks DDA to halt demolitions in Vishwas Nagar for a week

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to halt demolitions in Vishwas Nagar for a week on humanitarian grounds to enable residents, mostly slum dwellers, to evict on their own.

The matter was mentioned before the Supreme Court’s vacation bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Karol before the demolition began at 8am on Monday.

“So far as the right of members of petitioners to reside at the dwelling place is concerned, we do not wish to interfere with the order passed by the Delhi high court,” said the bench. “On humanitarian considerations, we are inclined to grant them seven days to vacate the premises. In case they fail to vacate by May 29, it will be open to DDA, with the help of such agencies required to carry out demolitions, to resume the demolition activities.”

The court directed DDA’s lawyer Sunieta Ojha to immediately communicate the order to the officials on the ground.

(Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 22 May 2023)

Trademark dispute over ‘tomato’ reaches 

The Goan eatery named Tomato’s Beachside Kitchen & Bar has approached the Gujarat high court challenging the stay order by a city civil court after a city restaurant owner alleged infringement on trademark rights secured for Tomato or Tomato’s. 

The proprietor of the Goan eatery, Harshit Tibrewal, filed an appeal in the high court against the ex-parte stay order on the use of word Tomato in the restaurant’s title.

The lower court has directed Tibrewal not to use the disputed trademark from May 25 at least until July 17, when he has been asked to explain why he should not be restrained from using the trademark till the final outcome of the suit. 

The suit has been filed by Ahura Restaurant Pvt Ltd, which runs restaurants named Tomato’s in the city. It has demanded Rs 2 crore in damages from the Tibrewal for infringement on trademark rights and for diluting the brand. Ahura claimed that it has been the holder of a registered trademark rights for Tomato/Tomato’s since 1996 and runs restaurants under this trademark. 

It has got an annual turnover of approximately Rs 50 crore.

(Courtesy:- The Times of India, 22 May 2023)

After HC relief for MoS Home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ in 23-yr-old murder case, UP govt urged to move Supreme Court

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has dismissed an appeal against the acquittal of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ and others in a 23-year-old case related to the murder of a former Lucknow University student leader in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Mishra, who represents the Lakhimpur Kheri seat in the Lok Sabha, and other accused in this 2000 case were acquitted by a local court in 2004 due to “lack of evidence” and the “prosecution’s failure” to prove its case against them.

The UP government had filed an appeal against their acquittal in the high court, while the victim Prabhat Gupta’s father Santosh Gupta had filed a criminal revision petition to challenge the trial court’s verdict.

(Courtesy:- The Indian Express, 22 May 2023)

Non-application of mind, says SC on Bombay HC closing murder trial in 2013

The Supreme Court has set aside a 2013 order of the Bombay high court that closed the trial in a 2006 murder case, holding that the high court’s decision to discharge the accused reflected “non-application of mind” and that the high court order hadn’t even referred to the evidence collected by the investigating agency.

“The high court had exercised the jurisdiction in a manner which is not vested in it to scuttle the trial of a heinous crime,” the bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal said in its verdict on May 18. The bench also faulted the high court for its July 2013 verdict discharging the accused even before the trial court had an opportunity to frame the charges against them.

The top court was ruling on a petition filed by a Maharashtra resident Manjit Singh Virdi who petitioned against the high court letting of the people accused of the murder of his brother, Manmohan Singh Sukhdev Singh Virdi, who was found dead at his Lonawala house on May 14, 2006.

(Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 22 May 2023)

HC: Use of single word not trademark infringement 

Settling an ongoing dispute between two liquor brands over the use of the word “pride,” the Punjab and Haryana high court has held that “similarities of single word cannot be taken as an infringement.” The HC passed these orders while dismissing the plea filed by Pernod Ricard India Private Limited seeking directions to restrain United Spirits Limited from infringing the trademark “Blenders Pride” by using, manufacturing, and selling the goods under the trademark “Royal Challenge American Pride.” 

According to the high court, any relief granted to the party will adversely affect the open market and might lead to monopolistic trade activity by the appellant (Pernod Ricard India Private Limited). “It is too far stretch at the behest of the appellant (Pernod Ricard India Private Limited) that by use of word ‘Pride,’ there could be any misconception or dilution in the mind of the common man on the street, who is the ultimate consumer, which would lead to any confusion. 

The said parameter having not been met, the appellant has failed to demonstrate as to how he is facing any irreparable loss or injury which could not be compensated in terms of money and as to how the balance of convenience lies in its favour. Both the companies are well reputed and well established in their field and are rather competitors,” observed the HC in its detailed order.

A division bench, comprising Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Alok Jain, passed these orders last week while dismissing an appeal filed by Pernod Ricard India Private Limited. The appeal was filed by the firm against the order dated January 17, 2022, whereby, the lower court in Mohali had dismissed its plea praying for restraining the defendants (United Spirits Limited) from infringing the trademark “Blenders Pride” by using manufacturing and selling the goods under the alleged trademark “Royal Challenge American Pride.”The bone of contention revolved around primarily the two trademarks i.e. “Blenders Pride” on the  one hand owned by the appellant and “Royal Challenge American Pride,” a trademark duly registered by the respondent company on the other hand were at the loggerheads. 

Dismissing the appeal, the HC observed that in the light of the express provisions whereby the trademark or a part of trademark has been infringed, it is a requirement of law as per Section 15 and 17 of the Act that the part of the trademark has to be registered separately and admittedly in the present case, the appellant is holder of the registered trade mark titled “Blenders Pride” collectively, and therefore, the entire thrust of the argument and the case built up by the appellant that there is infringement by the respondents is only on the basis of the a common work “Pride.” “At the outset, in the absence of any registration of the word ‘Pride’ independently and separately, disentitles the appellant to any stay qua the same. 

Further, the act and conduct of the appellant also demonstrates that they themselves have foregone their right and have never objected to the use of the word pride separately,” held the HC dismissing the plea. 

The copy of the order was released last week on May 17.

(Courtesy:- The Times of India, 23 May 2023)

Supreme Court Refuses To Stay Probe Against Abhishek Banerjee In School Jobs Scam

The Supreme Court today refused to stay the Calcutta High Court order allowing central agencies to quiz Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee relating to recruitment irregularities in connection to the alleged multi-crore recruitment scam in West Bengal schools.

However, the top court has stayed Calcutta HC’s order imposing cost against him. SC also issued notice on Abhishek Banerjee’s plea challenging the Calcutta HC order.

A vacation bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha said that it will hear the matter after the vacation and listed the matter on July 10.

The top court also said that it will not interfere with the Calcutta High Court order allowing probe agencies to quiz Abhishek Banerjee in matters relating to an alleged recruitment scam.

However, the top court stayed part of the Calcutta HC order which imposed costs against Abhishek Banerjee.

“The imposition of cost will be stayed,” the top court said.

The court was hearing Abhishek Banerjee’s plea challenging the Calcutta High Court order that imposed costs on him and allowed Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI to probe him for recruitment irregularities.

(Courtesy:- NDTV, 26 May 2023)

SC sets aside Telangana HC order that gave bail to accused after cancelling it

The Supreme Court on Friday set aside a portion of the Telangana high court’s controversial order that granted bail to a man accused of killing former Andhra Pradesh MP YS Vivekananda Reddy. In the April 27 order, the high court cancelled default bail granted in June 2019 to murder accused T Gangi Reddy with immediate effect and then granted him bail with effect from July 1.

“We will post these matters in July. The last part of the order directing the special judge (CBI) to enlarge the accused on bail on July 1, 2023 shall remain stayed,” a vacation bench of justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha said on Friday on a petition filed by YS Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Suneetha Narreddy.

The bench, which heard Suneetha Narreddy’s plea on May 24 to cancel bail to the man accused of killing her father, frowned on the high court cancelling and granting bail in the same order.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which was assigned the case on the orders of the high court earlier had also supported Narreddy’s plea, saying it was erroneous and that it “pre-judged, pre-empted and encroached upon the power or discretion of the Supreme Court under Article 142.”

The high court also said that “the (trial) court … is directed to enlarge the petitioner on bail on July 1, 2023, on his executing a personal bond for a sum of ₹1 lakh with two sureties for the like sum each to the satisfaction of the said court.”

(Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 26 May 2023)

*Disclaimer: – Always check with the original copy of judgment from the Court website.

Legal News in this Weekly Legal Update are compiled by Team www.deepakmiglani.com

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