G.R. Luthra, J. (Chairman)
(1.) THE present application of the Director-General of Investigation and Registration is under Section 12A(2) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, read with rule 2A of Order 39 of the Civil Procedure Code for taking cognizance of the deliberate violation of the injunction orders issued under Section 12A of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act and it is prayed as under :
(a) property of the respondents may be attached;
(b) the respondent be detained in the civil prison ;
(c) restraining the respondent from publishing such advertisements ;
(d) pass such other order as may be deemed fit;
(e) award costs to the applicant.
(2.) The Director-General filed an application under Section 36B(c) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act against the respondents on the basis of which Restrictive Trade Practices Enquiry No. 497 of 1987 was commenced and notice of enquiry was issued. The Director-General also applied for an ad interim injunction restraining the respondents from indulging in the unfair trade practices which are being mentioned hereinafter. The first respondent is a public limited company and respondents Nos. 1(a), (b) and (c) are the directors of the same. Respondent No. 2 is a partnership firm and was appointed as an agent of the first respondent which is carrying on the business of inviting deposits from the public in its different schemes of savings. The partners of respondent No. 2, Sahara India, as disclosed, vide a writing dated October 6, 1988, under the directions of the Commission, are the following :
1. Shri Subrata Roy, A-5, Sector C, Aligarij, Lucknow. 2. Shri Joybroto Roy, A-5, Sector 5, Aliganj, Lucknow. 3. Shri Sobh Nath Verma, Hanuman Garhi, Khalilabad, Basti. 4. Shri Om Prakash Srivastava, Ramghulam Tola, Deoria. 5. Shri Kedar Nath Singh, Mukhlispur Road, Khalilabad, Basti.
Respondent No. 1 floated a scheme under the name "Gold Leaf Cas(sic) Certificate". It issued advertisements to promote that scheme. It also distri- buted printed application forms on the back of which terms and conditions are contained. The Director-General attached photo copies of two advertisements released by the respondents in respect of the aforesaid scheme in the Hindustan Times dated August 14, 1987, and the Deccan Herald dated September 1, 1987. The Director-General also attached a copy of the application form distributed by the respondents along with his application under Section 36B(c) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act.
(3.) ACCORDING to the Director-General, as alleged in the aforesaid application, the respondents were indulging in unfair trade practices by making the following false and misleading claims :
(a) Regarding large number of members / saharians and number of branches :
In advertisement dated August 14, 1987, in the Hindustan Times :
"On the eve of Great Independence, 30,000 saharians extend their , gratitude to Reserve Bank of India for extending credibility and respectability to our savings and investment activities in the sphere of banking."
In advertisement dated September 1, 1987, in Deccan Herald :
"30,000 family members of sahara India invite you to rejoice the great moments of. launching its prestigious savings and investment schemes on Tuesday, September 1, 1987, at 6.00 p. m."
(b) Regarding maturity payment through designated bank advertisement dated August 14, 1987, in the Hindustan Times :
"Maturity payment through our designated nationalised bank."
Advertisment dated September 1, 1987, in Deccan Herald :
"Maturity payment through designated bank State Bank of India."
(c) Regarding 'activities' and 'manufacturing lines' of the company in advertisement dated September 1, 1987, in Deccan Herald ;
"Our activities: Finance, housing, industrial, marketing, export, courier service, mass communication, children welfare, advertising, printing."
We manufacture : Textiles, fans, pharmaceuticals, steel hard-wares.
Production starting so-on : High quality jute and polyoropelene, (sic)ended products, welding electrodes, stamping (lamination).
(d) Regarding Reserve Bank approval and security of deposits in advertisement dated August 14, 1987, and August 1, 1987, in the Hindustan Times :
"Your deposits and interest totally secured in guaranteed securities as per Reserve Bank's directives and approval."
(e) Regarding return on investment on Gold Leaf Cash Certificate (claimed in condition No. 4 of terms and conditions) (Annexure III).
"4. The maturity value of certificate is according to the chart given below :