Decided on March 13,2012

Dr. Harsh Bardhan Naithani Appellant
State of Uttaranchal and another Respondents


Servesh Kumar Gupta, J. - (1.) BY means of this petition, the prayer has been advanced to quash the proceedings of complaint case No. 1015/2004, Gajendra Gahlaut Vs. Somdev and two others, launched on 1.7.2004 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dehradun. Learned Magistrate, after recording the statements of the complainant and that of his witnesses and also perusing the other documentary evidence, passed the impugned order of cognizance on 16.12.2005, whereby he has summoned Somdev, Harshvardhan Naithani (petitioner) and Sri Vivek Sharma to stand trial for the offence under Sections 418, 420, 120 -B, 500 IPC r/w Sections 63/65 of the Copyright Act, 1957. Having heard the pros and cons, put forth by Learned Counsel for the parties, it transpires that the controversy between the parties revolves around the pivot of a book, titled as 'Orchids of North West Himalaya' which, in original, was allegedly authored by one Sri J.F. Dhatti, way back in 1981. The said book was allegedly updated by petitioner and his associate Sri Som Dev Sharma since 1985 onwards and they each received Rs.10,000/ -through a bank transaction, via Sri Raj Vardhan Naithani. It is pertinent to mention that this transaction has been affirmed in a finding arrived at by civil court in suit No. 8/1986, which was adjudicated vide an elaborate judgment, passed by learned Additional District Judge, Dehradun on 4.3.2004 and the learned Additional Judge, at internal page 42 of the judgment, has mentioned about this fact. The said suit was instituted by Sri Gajendra Gahlot (respondent No. 2), who himself does the publication work through a partnership firm, wherein an injunction was granted, decreeing his suit against Sri Somdev Sharma, Sri Harshvardhan Naithani, Sri Vivek Sharma and Sri Rajvardhan Naithani, restraining them not to violate the exclusive copyright owned by the firm of Sri Gajendra Gahlot over the questioned book.
(2.) IT has been argued that the said judgment, delivered by the Additional District Judge, has now been stayed by this Court in appeal No. 3/2005, wherein ad -interim stay was granted by this Court on 21.10.2005, thereby staying the operation of the said judgment subject to certain conditions imposed therein by the Court. At this juncture, it is pertinent to mention that the criminal proceedings were launched at the initiation of petitioner against the respondent No. 2 and his family members for the offence under Sections 63/65 of the Copyright Act and those proceedings were adjudicated, on merits, by learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dehradun in Criminal State Case No. 2164/1986 on 30.12.2003. Learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dehradun found the respondent No. 2 -Gajendra Singh Gahlot and all his family members, namely, Smt. Jaswanti, Smt. Abha and Ram Gopal Singh, innocent from the charges and accordingly, passed the judgment and order of acquittal. So, it is now clear that the allegations levelled by the petitioner and his associates, against the respondent No. 2 and his family members, implicating them for the offence of Sections 63/65 of the Copyright Act, were found to be not true.
(3.) AFTER the said judgment, respondent No. 2 filed a complaint case No. 1015/2004 with the allegations that petitioner, along with his associates, named above, got the said updated book published and began to market it, displaying as if they were the original co -authors of the same. As such, they have committed the offence of Sections 418/420/120 -B/500/511 IPC r/w Sections 63/65 of Copyright Act. Learned Magistrate thereafter passed the impugned order of cognizance against the petitioner and his associates and they are awaiting trial but the same has been stayed by this Court at the time of filing of this petition.;

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