Plea before Bombay High Court seeks license to translate 'The Spirit’s Pilgrimage' authored by Gandhi’s disciple into Marathi

Single-judge Justice Manish Pitale directed the Registrar of Copyrights to publish a notice calling for objections from persons claiming copyright over the work.
Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

A plea has been filed before the Bombay High Court seeking license to produce and publish Marathi translation of the literary work “The Spirit’s Pilgrimage” authored by Mahatma Gandhi's disciple Madeleine Slade, also known as Mira Behn [Anil G Karkhanis v. Kirloskar Press].

Single-judge Justice Manish Pitale directed the Registrar of Copyrights to publish a notice calling for objections from persons claiming any interest in the copyright over the work within 120 days.

The case was then posted for further hearing on February 15, 2023.

The petition was filed by Mumbai resident Anil Karkhanis, under Section 32 of the Copyright Act, which grants rights to any person to apply for license to reproduce and publish work after the expiration of a specified period from the date of the first publication.

The plea pointed out that the book was an autobiography of Slade who had also been a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The book was published in the year 1960 by by Orient Longman Private Limited and in Great Britain by the publisher Longmans, Green & Co. 

Advocate Amit Jamsandekar for the petitioner contended that the petitioner fulfilled the three criteria contemplated under Section 32 for grant of such license;

  1. Work was published in India;

  2. It Published more than 7 years prior to the petition being filed; and

  3. Petition was moved in the prescribed format. 

The plea pointed out that the book was an autobiography of Slade who had also been a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The book was published in the year 1960 by by Orient Longman Private Limited and in Great Britain by the publisher Longmans, Green & Co. 

Jamsandekar submitted that Karkhanis is willing to pay royalty to the person entitled to such royalty under the provisions of the said Act. 

Jamsandekar also informed the Court that as on date, none of the publishers exist. 

The petitioner also found that an abridged version of the work had been translated by one Ranga Marathe and that was published by Kirloskar Press, the respondents in this case. 

However, none from the translator or publisher exist for Karkhanis to pursue the matter with them, it was stated.

In such circumstances, the petitioner was compelled to approach the High Court for permission.

Satisfied that prayers in the petition can be considered, the single-judge Justice Manish Pitale directed the Registrar of Copyrights to publish a notice calling for objections.

The Registrar was directed to publish the notice within 2 weeks from October 11 and compliance of the same has to be reported within 3 weeks from the date of order. 

[Read order]

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Anil G. Karkhanis v. Kirloskar Press, Mukund Nagar, Pune.pdf
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