LAKSHMI NARAIN MEHTA Vs. GRAMAPHONE COMPANY OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
LAKSHMI NARAIN MEHTA
GRAMOPHONE COMPANY OF INDIA LIMITED
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N.N.Goswamy, J. -
(1.)The prayer in this petition is for quashing of the proceedings in two criminal cases titled as :
(1) Music India Limited v. The Pyramid and others and (2) gramophone 'Company of India Limited v. The Pyramid and others. Both these cases are pending adjudication before Shri Jaswant Singh, Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi.
(2.)In brief the two complaints are to the effect that M/s. Gramophone Company of India and Music India Limited have their registered "offices in Calcutta and Bombay respectively. They have their branches in Delhi. They make and produce records containing musical, literary and artistic thesis and have the exclusive right to reproduce the works contained in the records directly from the plates or the records manufactured and made by them under the various names. A large scale piracy of their copyright ia sound is taking place on tapes and cassettes. The pirates have not to pay anything to the musicians and other artists. All that they need is a cheaper duplicating machine, tape records and a number of sound system to make copies out of the popular records of the said company. They, therefore, sell their duplicates cheaper and in the process deprive the-companies of their legitimate income and the Government of huge amount of excise, incometax and sales-tax. Their establishments and godowns are kept in concealed places.
(3.)The two complainants had filed complaints earlier to the same effect against unknown persons under Section 64 of the Copyright Act, 1956 and Sections 420, 482 and 486 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 78 and 79 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958. The concerned magistrate under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had directed the C.I.D. (Grime) Delhi to investigate, for the time being, against cven firms which were dealing in the infringing articles and to seize and produce the infringing materials, cassettes, tapes and/or records, plates, appliances or machines for making the infringements, labels, blocks, dyes, etc. In pursuance of the investigation the Grime Branch recovered '2240 cassettes. Those two complaints were later consolidated but the learned magistrate refused to issue a general search warrant. However, the magistrate permitted the police under Section 64 of the Copyright Act, 1956 to search all suspective places. Raids were organised and a number of infringing articles were recovered from two firms. The inspector of crime branch submitted a report that during the raids conducted on five shops, there was some confrontation between certain persons of the companies and the shopkeepers and the raids had to be abandoned. The complainants thereafter filed an application and requested the magistrate to issue general search warrants. The petitioner, herein) moved an application against the complainants alleging that the said complaints were made with a view to play fraud on Court by making unknown as the accused persons, though later on it submitted a list of dealers who were dealing in infringing articles. The learned magistrate directed search warrants against seven firms. According to the report submitted by the police officer nothing had been seized from three firms but cassettes had been recovered from four of those seven firms named by the complainants. On November 5, 1980 the premises of the petitioner were searched but nothing was found in the shop. The petitioner had challenged the search made in Ms premises while the complainants had challenged the order whereby the learned magistrate had declined to issue general search warrants. The matter came up before a learned Single Judge of this Court. Vide judgment and order dated March 27, 1981 the petition filed by the petitioner was dismissed while the petitions filed by the complainants were allowed. The learned single Judge directed the learned magistrate to issue general search warrants so that the real culprits may be discovered.
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