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The week that was: The Delhi High Court

Smrithi Suresh

Here is a look at some of the significant developments from the Delhi High Court this week.

Kanhaiya Kumar moves High Court; other JNU students follow suit

JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar knocked the doors of the High Court for securing bail in the sedition case registered against him. High Court became a fortress and most journalists, lawyers and general public were kept out of Justice Pratibha Rani’s court as Kumar’s legal team battled for his release.

The Delhi Police vociferously opposed Kumar’s bail and sought a fresh remand of Kumar, which would be decided by the Metropolitan Magistrate. The Bench granted time to the Police for this purpose and decided to take up the case on February 29.

Yet another group of students including Umar Khalid & Anirban Bhattacharya also reached the Court for seeking security before they surrendered to the police under the sedition case registered against them. While the Bench made strict observations that the authorities should ensure ‘that the students do not even suffer a scratch’ during investigation, it did not pass any independent order in the case. Both the matters were tagged together to be heard with Kumar’s bail plea.

Kanhaiya conundrum? Delhi Police gets new legal team

In a surprising turn of events, just a day before the bail plea of the JNUSU President was due to be heard in High Court, the Lt-Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung gave a go-ahead for the removal of Rahul Mehra as the counsel for Delhi Police. In Mehra’s place, came a new group of lawyers who were entrusted with the task of representing the Police in the case.

With two ASGs’ heading the new legal team, sources suggest that the move reeked of political overtones as Mehra is also one of the co-founders of AAP, which has publicly supported the JNU movement. 

Commercial Courts ordinance and the stalled transfer of IPR cases

After the Commercial Courts & Arbitration Ordinance were passed, the pecuniary jurisdiction of the High Court stood amended. Immediately after this development, there was a petition filed by the Asian Patents Association challenging the High Court’s office order that had allowed a transfer of all pending cases up to the value of Rs 1 crore to subordinate courts.

The fundamental argument raised by the association was that IP legislation such as the Patents Act, Trademarks Act etc, did not mention the “specific value” of intangible assets such as patents and trademarks.  In fact, references to a monetary value was limited to that of “relief” sought. After hearing submissions of the Petitioner Association, the Bench had stayed the transfer of the IPR disputes.

This week when the matter came up for hearing, the Bench directed the Petitioners to frame a list of cases that had been transferred to the District Courts so as to consider the possibility of transferring these cases back to the High Court. The case will now be heard on April 4.

RTI Rules for High Court stand amended due to WHIP’s efforts

A group of law students had recently filed a petition challenging certain provisions of the RTI Rules of the High Court. These students belong to an organisation namely WHIP (Whistle for Public Interest) that was started to spread awareness on the right to information.

In its judgment, the Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini & Justice Jayant Nath had held that the High Court had taken steps to ensure that the Delhi High Court (Right to Information) Rules, 2006 were brought in consonance with the RTI Act.

IPR Roundup- Saikrishna & Associates

1. Microsoft Corpn & Ors Vs. Mr. Ashish Luthra & Ors.

This was a case pertaining to usage of certain Microsoft copyrighted programs by the defendant without obtaining prior license from the company. The Bench appointed a Local Commissioner to inspect the premises of the defendant and seized the hard disks, CDs etc if they were found to be in violation of copyright. The case will now be heard in April.

2. OK Play India Ltd Vs Mayank Aggarwal and Ors.

The Bench granted time to the parties for completion of pleadings. The case will now be heard on March 29.

3. Microsoft Corpn & Anr Vs Sujan Kumar & Ors.

This  case was adjourned to March 4.

4. Microsoft Corpn & Anr Vs Manish Pateria & Ors.

This  case was adjourned.

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