Delhi High Court References New Criminal Law in Landmark Trademark Infringement Case

Later, the defendants claimed they are copyright owners of various labels under ‘SURYA GOLD’ mark and alleged the documents filed by KG Marketing were “fabricated”.
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In a groundbreaking move, the Delhi High Court has referenced the recently enacted Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023, in a case involving trademark infringement, forgery, and document fabrication. This marks one of the first instances where the new criminal law, effective from July 1, has been applied in a judicial order.

The Case at a Glance

KG Marketing India, a notable manufacturer of electrical appliances, initiated a trademark infringement lawsuit against two individuals to secure an injunction preventing the use of the mark ‘SURYA’. The Delhi High Court granted an interim order in favor of KG Marketing in January of the previous year, temporarily protecting their trademark rights.

However, the defendants countered by claiming they held copyright ownership of various labels under the ‘SURYA GOLD’ mark. They further accused KG Marketing of filing fabricated documents to support their case. This led to a complex legal battle where issues of trademark rights and document authenticity were intricately linked.

The Court’s Approach to Allegations of Fabrication

The controversy over alleged document fabrication necessitated a closer examination under Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which deals with offenses related to the fabrication of evidence. Justice Prathiba Singh, presiding over the case, faced the challenge of determining the applicability of this section in light of the newly enacted BNSS.

In her order dated July 2, Justice Singh clarified that since the application was already pending when the BNSS and the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) were enacted, the matter would continue to be assessed under the provisions of the erstwhile CrPC. This statement is significant as it sets a precedent for how pending cases may be treated with the transition to new legal frameworks.

Insights from the Court’s Findings

During the proceedings, the court identified clear evidence of forgery and fabrication. It noted that KG Marketing had not admitted to any wrongdoing until the defendants highlighted discrepancies in the documents presented. Specifically, the court observed that KG Marketing had submitted newspapers as evidence that were later contested as inauthentic by the defendants. This delay in admission by KG Marketing raised serious questions about the integrity of their evidence.

Justice Singh emphasized that KG Marketing’s reliance on these allegedly fabricated newspapers, treating them as genuine, was a crucial aspect of the case. The defendants’ ability to point out these inconsistencies played a pivotal role in the court’s assessment of the matter.

Implications and Moving Forward

This case serves as an important milestone in the Indian legal landscape, demonstrating the judiciary’s approach to incorporating newly established laws into ongoing cases. The reference to BNSS, 2023, highlights the evolving nature of legal adjudication in India and the necessity for courts to navigate between old and new legislative frameworks.

As the legal community closely watches how such references to BNSS will shape future judicial decisions, this case underscores the importance of document integrity and the complexities of trademark disputes. For businesses and legal practitioners, it also provides a clear reminder of the rigorous scrutiny that evidence must withstand in court.

Stay tuned as we continue to follow this and other significant developments in the realm of intellectual property law and legal reforms.

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