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In a development which could cast a shadow on the functioning of District courts in the National Capital, the Delhi High Court has taken cognizance of allegations of forum shopping involving three judges and ordered that IPR suits of certain parties not be listed before the three judges – Mukesh Kumar, Veena Rani and Chandrasekhar.
The order was passed by a Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and IS Mehta in a contempt petition filed by M/s Capital Ventures Limited against KRBL Limited and its officials (contemnors/respondents).
The petition has alleged that the contemnors/respondents represented by the same counsel had moved repeated applications in different suits to have it listed before “particular judicial officers”, Mukesh Kumar, Veena Rani and Chandrashekhar.
The petition also alleges that favourable orders were obtained by the contemnors from the said judicial officers “which they were not entitled on merits”.
The Delhi High Court after hearing the petitioners issued notice to the respondents and made it clear that it will not go into the merits of the disputes which were before the three judges who have been named.
However, it proceeded to seek the following details from the contemnors:
– The number of IPR suits filed by them with details including suit number, date of filing, counsel through whom it was filed and the judges before whom the matter was initially listed.
– Whether an application for marking and listing before a particular Judicial Officer was moved?
– The name of the Judicial Officers before whom the matter was sought to be listed.
– Whether the matter was listed before the Judicial Officer as desired by the respondents?
– Whether any ex-parte orders of injunction was passed?
– The date of ex-parte ad interim injunction order if any?
Importantly, the Court also made it clear that IPR suits preferred by the respondents should not be listed before the three judges in question.
The matter is now listed for hearing on November 22.
Read the order below.