SATSANG Vs. KIRON CHANDRA MUKHOPADHYAY
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
KIRON CHANDRA MUKHOPADHYAY
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Hazra, J. -
(1.)The plaintiffs Satsang a registered society under the Societies Registration Act and Nani Gopal Chakra-barty, the Secretary. Satsang have made this application for interlocutory injunc-tion restraining the defendants. Kiron Chandra Mukhopadhava end Kumud Bandhu Bal and others from making any further reproduction or printing or publication of the works entitled "Satyanusa-ran" "Chhande-Surey-Sabar-Jibon" and "Path-O-Patheo" or any of them or making any other or further copies or colourable imitation of the publications of the plaintiff No. 1 entitled "Satva-nusaran" "Anusruti" and "Alochona Prasangey" and from selling or disposing of by way of trade or offering for sale any copies of the said works or any other copies or colourable imitations of the said publications of the Plaintiff No. 1 Satsang till the disposal of this suit and for appointment of a receiver in respect of all manuscripts, proofs, and other originals of the said works in their possession till the disposal of the suit.
(2.)An interesting question of copyright law has been raised in this application. Are the works of a religious preacher himself in his own handwriting and the compilations of the discussions and sermons of a religious preacher made by the Society founded by him "literary works" within the meaning of the word "work" under the Copyright Act, 1957 ? The religious preacher in this case is Anukul Chandra Chakrabartty known by his followers end disciples as "Sri Sri Thakur Anukul". He himself wrote a book "Satyanusaran" in his own hand as early as 1316 B. S. corresponding to 1910 A. D. recording some of hi-s religious teaching and precepts. The said book "Satyanusaran" was printed and published for the first time in the year 1919 and thereafter the same ran into several editions. Sri Sri Thakur Anukul also known as "Sri Sri Thakur" founded a society of religious brotherhood and charitable organisation consisting of his followers and disciples known as Sat-sang, sometime in the year 1925. This society was originally registered at Pabna but on 4th April 1951 fwhen Pabna was a part of the then East Pakistani it was registered at Calcutta under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The object of the society is to propagate and to give practical shape to the ideals and activities of Sri Sri Anukul Thakur. It owns and runs a publishing unit known as Satasang Publishing House at Deoghar.
(3.)During the lifetime of Sri Sri Thakur the discussions with the sermons given by the Thakur were compiled and the said compilations were published by a member of the said society Satsang on its behalf in the year 1949 under the name "Anusruti," Since 1949 the said book Anusruti was printed and published end further volumes of the said compilation Anusruti was published from time to time. A volume which was produced before me being the second volume shows that these ere poetry or poetical expressions of Sri Sri Thakur. In the preface it is written that Sri Sri Thakur started delivering "Chhara" or "poetry" in the vear 1940 and continuously uttered those Charra or poetry or poetical expressions. There are numerous such expressions and some of them had been compiled in the second volume. Similarly during the lifetime of Sri Sri Thakur the religious teachings and precepts of the Thakur were recorded by his followers who were members of Satsang. The same was printed and published by the Satsang through its press and publishing house. The name of this magazine is "Alochana". Thereafter, these writings were compiled in a book "Alochona Prosangev". This was printed and published by the Satsang and the last volume was printed and published in the year 1969. The petitioner's case is that Satsang is the owner and/or the exclusive licensee of the copyright in the said publication viz.. "Satvanusaran" "Anusruti" and "Alochona Prosangey". The petitioners state that the respondents are infringing the copyright of the said works.
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