Delhi High Court restrains Indian firm from using Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) trademark

 The Delhi High Court has restrained an Indian firm from using the trade name ‘HM’ or any other deceptive variation which is similar to Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M).

The court, while granting time to Indian firm HM Megabrands Pvt Ltd and its proprietors to stop use of the mark and commence its business under an alternative mark, said the order of interim injunction should be made operative with effect from July 9.

The court passed the order on a plea by H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Sweden and its Indian subsidiary H & M Hennes & Mauritz Retail Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, seeking an injunction restraining HM Megabrands Pvt Ltd and its proprietors Arif Merchant, Hamza Arif Merchant and Hashim Arif Merchant from infringement of trade mark of the foreign company.

“I am therefore of the opinion that the plaintiffs (foreign firm) have a prima facie case,” Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The court said that thought the proprietors of the Indian firm have commenced their business in 2011, if permitted to continue their trade during the pendency of the suit, they are likely to develop further goodwill under the impugned mark.

Once a prima facie case is found in favour of the foreign firm, it is not deemed appropriate to allow the Indian firm to gather further goodwill and business in the mark.

“The injury and loss to the foreign firm, if the Indian firm during the pendency of the suit are permitted to continue using the mark, is implicit and no order of keeping an account can compensate the foreign firm sufficiently,” it said.

The foreign firm submitted that it had adopted the trade mark or name ‘H&M’ in early 1970 and secured registration for the mark in 1985 in the United Kingdom.

The plea said said the firm and its Indian subsidiary form part of the H&M Group of companies which are designers/marketers/sellers of wide and varied fashionable clothing collection and ancillary products/services for women, men, teenagers and children.

It claimed that to come close to the foreign entity’s business, the Indian firm is representing the alphabets ‘H’ and ‘M’ in an informal and asymmetrical italicised manner similar to that of the plaintiffs’ artwork and is also using the same colour combination of red and white.

The Indian firm said they chose the trademark HM as alphabets of the proprietor’s name — Hashim Merchant and that in 2011, H&M had no recognition in India.

It said it adopted the trade marks ‘HM MEGABRANDS’ to carry on business to manufacture, distribute and trade in various kinds of footwears, leather bags, designer bags, belt, clutches, readymade garments, imitation jewellery and other accessories.

High Court questioned Kumar Vishwas if he wants to cross examine Jaitley

 The Delhi High Court today sought to know from dissident AAP leader Kumar Vishwas if he wanted to cross examine Arun Jaitley in the defamation suit filed against him by the Union Minister in the DDCA row in which Arvind Kejriwal and four others have already tendered apology.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed the counsel for Vishwas to bring the AAP leader to the court on the next date of hearing on May 3.

While the high court had on April 3 closed two defamation suits against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and four AAP leaders after a joint settlement plea was moved before it, a trial court had acquitted the CM and others, except rebel AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, in the criminal defamation case.

During the hearing today, advocate Manik Dogra, appearing for Jaitley, said Vishwas’ case alone “cannot stand on its two legs” as the rest of the AAP leaders have already tendered an apology.

He also said that Vishwas cannot rely on the defence taken by Kejriwal, as the chief minister has already apologised and the suit against him and four others did not exist any more.

“Counsel for plaintiff says defendent 1 (Kejriwal) has withdrawn all allegations and since defendent 4 (Vishwas) has relied on the written statement of Kejriwal, the allegations do not survive qua Kumar Vishwas. Let defendent 4 (Vishwas) appear in person on May 3,” Justice Endlaw said.

The court also noted the submission of Jaitley’s counsel that if Vishwas prefers to cross examine him, it could be done through video conferencing.

The high court had on April 3 allowed joint settlement plea of Jaitley, Kejriwal and four AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpai– in the Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed against them by the union minister.

The court, however, had said the defamation suit against Vishwas will continue as did not offer to settle the matter.

Jaitley had lodged the defamation suit in December 2015 against Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders after they had alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when the union minister was its president. The BJP leader had denied all these allegations.

High Court stops infringement of Patanjali trademark

The Delhi High Court has restrained four ayurveda firms and a trust from manufacturing, selling or advertising any goods or services bearing the mark or word Patanjali’, the registered trademark of yoga guru Ramdev’s company.

The order by Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw came on a plea by Ramdev’s company Patanjali Ayurved Ltd which has contended that the four firms — Karamveer Ayurveda, Dr Zee Biotech, Dhatri, and Diwai Gramodyog Sewa Sansthan — were manufacturing and marketing products similar to its own by infringing its trademark.

Patanjali also contended before the court that the firms were passing off their products as that of the company and they were claiming to do so under authorisation of the trust, Maharishi Patanjali Vedic Foundation.

The court noted that Patanjali Ayurved has made out a prima facie case for grant of an ex-parte order in its favour restraining the four firms and the trust from infringing its trademark.

While restraining the five defendants from infringing the trademark of Patanjali, the court also issued notice to them seeking their replies to the plea by May 16, the next date of hearing.

Plea to admit poor kids in schools on public land

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the AAP government and DDA on a plea seeking directions to them to ensure admission of poor kids in play schools, creches and even minority institutions running on public land.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice to the Delhi government’s directorate of education (DoE) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and sought their replies by May 27, the next date of hearing.

The order came on the applications of NGO Justice for All which has contended that the court’s 2014 direction, to ensure schools situated on DDA land shall admit children belonging to weaker section up to the extent of 25 per cent, was not being implemented by the DoE.

The NGO also sought a clarification from the court that its 2014 judgement is applicable to those minority schools also which are situated on public land allotted by land owing agencies.

The petitioner in its applications, filed through advocate Khagesh Jha, alleged that “barring a few schools most have either not updated their vacancy position in the Central Information Commission (CIC) module or updated incorrect information on the website”.

It has claimed that DoE “neither collected any data from the recognised unaided schools nor placed any advertisement for seats so children belonging to weaker sections can approach for admission in the school. The DoE also failed to publish complete list of schools, with addresses, which have provisions of EWS admission especially for play school”.

Appearing for the NGO, advocate Ashok Aggarwal told the court that a “list of schools which are obligated to provide admission to economically weaker section (EWS) should be made available by DoE so that parents know where to apply”.

Delhi HC junks plea for law to ban cow slaughter

beef banThe Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a petition seeking enactment of a law prohibiting slaughter of cows, saying the “issue is beyond the domain of judicial decision” and it’s a policy matter.“Suffice it is to state that the Legislature whenever has deemed necessary has framed appropriate laws in this regard and challenge thereto has been considered by the court…,” a bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

“We are afraid the issue is beyond the domain of judicial decision making and is a policy matter in which the courts under the doctrine of separation of powers are not entitled to transgress,” the bench said.

The court’s decision came on a PIL filed by NGO Sadh Foundation, which also sought action against slaughter houses.

It further sought direction to make “arrangements so that maximum environmental and economic benefits from the cow to mankind may be provided”.

The bench, however, termed the plea without “merit” and said even the Supreme Court in a judgement earlier had unequivocally held that the court cannot issue any direction for ban on slaughter of cows as it is a matter of policy on which decision has to be taken by the government.

“It was further held that a complete ban can only be imposed by legislation enacted by the appropriate legislature. The same view has been taken by a full bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in…,” the court observed while citing the apex court judgement.

Delhi HC reserves verdict on pleas against DU criteria

Delhi HC reserves verdict on pleas against DU criteria
Delhi HC reserves verdict on pleas against DU criteria

Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on a bunch of pleas by students of other state education boards who have challenged a notification of Delhi University for calculating cut-offs for admission in various colleges under it and have sought a uniform admission system.

“Arguments heard. Judgement reserved,” Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, after the counsels for Delhi University (DU), the outstation students and several colleges put forth their contentions on the issue.

DU contended there was vide variation in the marking scheme of various state boards, where the petitioner students studied, as some gave 30 marks for internal assessment while the others gave 20.

The university also said the students must have applied in other universities, including those of their respective states, and added that in those cases where admissions were cancelled, the candidates were asked to take back their certificates from the DU colleges.

The colleges too adopted the arguments put forth by DU and added that they issue their respective brochures only to highlight courses offered by them as well as seats available, but they do not put out any additional eligibility criteria.

The students, on the other hand, contended that they have sought a uniform system of admission, including calculation of cut-offs, saying there was always a difference of 2-3 per cent in the best-of-four marks calculated by each college in any given case of students from other state boards.

They have also said deduction of 10 per cent in case of students from state education board was unfair.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by students who studied from Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana state boards and faced a deduction of 10 per cent in their best-of-four marks at the time of calculating the cut- offs.

Why don’t you provide modern prosthetics to Army personnel: HC

Artificial Limb CentreThe Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre why it was not providing modern prosthetics to armed forces personnel who lost their limbs in the service of the nation.
“The soldier who lost their arms during the wars, if something is done for their good, they will be grateful to you (Centre),” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.
Taking note of the submissions made by an association, Disabled War Veterans (India), that modern prosthetics are not being given to them though the same is given to government employees, the court asked the government lawyer to “take instruction over the issue raised before it by July 22”.
The court was hearing a PIL, which has alleged that it has found, through a Right to Information application, that “government employees are being provided modern prosthetics and the same is being approved by the concerned departments. However, the Armed Forces Personnel are not being treated accordingly.”
The PIL states that there are seven categories of persons who are covered under Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and these are ex-servicemen drawing pension/disability pension, widows drawing family pension, spouse of the pensioner, unemployed sons below 25 years, unemployed and/or unmarried daughters, dependent parents whose income is less than Rs 1500 per month and mentally/physically challenged children of army personnel.
It has contended that as per information received from the government, there is no policy in place for “empanelment of facilities which provide orthotic and prosthetic care to ex-servicemen”. The PIL said retired affected personnel of armed forces continue to get limbs and prosthetics manufactured by Artificial Limb Centre (ALC), Pune, which “are out-dated models, heavier in weight, uncomfortable in use and not comparable with other limbs produced by the private players”.

HC frames time-frame for release of prisoners granted bail

delhi high courtDelhi High Court has set a time- frame for release of prisoners granted bail, saying such persons ought not to remain behind bars “even for a minute more than necessary”.

Observing that there can be “absolutely no justification for delays in verification of sureties”, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed Delhi Police, including Jail Superintendants and SHOs, to “complete process of verification of local sureties within 10 days and outstation sureties latest within three weeks”.

“Our direction aforesaid should not be understood as giving time of 10 days and three weeks, as the case may be, for verification. The process of verification, should be immediate, maximum within 24 hours, as there is absolutely no justification” for the State to keep a prisoner who has been granted bail for its own delays.

“The time limit fixed by us is the maximum and which maximum is to be availed of only in difficult cases and not to be made a norm. It should not be that verifications which now are being done sooner, are also delayed,” the court said.

It also said the police officer on whose account process of verification is delayed, shall be liable for departmental action.

“An incarcerated ordered to be released on bail, once has furnished the bail bond with sureties, ought not to remain behind bars even for a minute more than necessary. No grounds, for shortage of personnel to conduct verification or non availability of surety when visited by such personnel or the like can constitute a reason in law therefor.

“The State ought to ensure the infrastructure necessary for such verification within the minimum possible time and there can be no reason, sufficient enough for denying such a person his liberty,” the court said, while disposing of a PIL initiated on the letter of a Special CBI Judge who had flagged the issue of inordinate delay in verification of sureties.

The judge in his letter had said that the release of prisoners who were granted bail was being unduly delayed owing to the slow process of verification of sureties.

The letter had also stated that the time taken in the verification of sureties varied from three to 64 days.

Can’t keep live-in relations outside purview of rape: HC

live inThe Delhi high court has refused to keep live-in relationships outside the purview of rape under the IPC, saying it would amount to giving them the status of matrimony, which the legislature has chosen “not to do”.

The court made the observation while hearing a PIL, which had sought direction to the government to keep the cases of live-in relationships outside the purview of the offence of rape under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“As far as the relief sought, of keeping the live-in relationships outside the purview of Section 376 (rape) of the IPC is concerned, the same would amount to giving the live-in relationships, the status of matrimony and which the legislature has chosen not to do,” a bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

“All that we can observe is, that a live-in-relationship constitutes a distinct class from marriage. It is also not as if the defence of consent would not be available in such cases to the accused. We do not find any merit in the petition and dismiss the same,” the judge added.

The PIL also sought direction that the complaint lodged by a live-in partner against the other should be registered under section 420 (cheating), not section 376 (rape), which was turned down by the court, saying it cannot pass such order.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Anil Dutt Sharma who had contended that according to the records it has been seen that in many cases, courts acquit men accused of rape as the women file false case.

“In more than 70 per cent cases, the accused is found not guilty and other associated family members of the acquitted accused face humiliation in society,” the plea had said.

It also sought direction to the Centre and Delhi government to secure constitutional rights of the person acquitted from rape charges by the way of compensation and registration of cases against those who misuse the law.

It had said that police should not arrest a person only on the basis of an allegation by a woman prior to conducting preliminary enquiry and getting a medical report, but before arrest, sufficient cause should be recorded by a senior officer to avoid false implication.

Tis Hazari, Patiala House courts to get ACs soon: HC

The administrative in-charge of two district courts here today informed the Delhi High Court that they will be installing air conditioners in every room which falls under their jurisdiction.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw was informed by district judges of Tis Hazari and Patiala House Court complexes, through their counsel that they are in process of installing ACs and it will be completed soon.

“It has been done on the civil side of each court room, the remaining will be done very soon,” the counsel said, adding that at Patiala House courts, ACs have been installed in every room.

The high court had on January 14 sought response of the district judges on a plea seeking installation of ACs at the district courts under their jurisdiction to provide an efficient work environment.

Taking note of the submission that the work is in progress and will be completed soon, the court disposed of the petition directing the district judges to complete without failure.

The PIL, filed by lawyer Amit Sahni, had sought direction to the district judges for installation of ACs in all courts located in respective districts of Delhi with immediate effect so as to avoid undue harassment.

The plea had said that all district courts in Delhi were centrally air-conditioned except Tis Hazari Courts and Patiala House Courts.

It had said that in Tis Hazari Courts, ACs were installed in offices of almost all the clerical staff but not in all the court rooms.

“For instance in Tis Hazari Court, ACs are not installed in room 356, 357, 361, 361A etc.,” the plea had said, adding “ACs have become basic necessity for efficient working and the same have been installed in all Government/PSUs/Private Sectors for the last decade.”

The counsel had said that it is essential to provide an efficient working environment to court staff, judicial officers, counsel and litigants, “which would affect the pace of the matters pending in each court”.