Pollution penalty to BMW injunction, here're the top court orders

The demands for “environmental compensation charges” were set aside on the ground that they were issued without referring to any statutory provisions or any binding order
Finance corporation told to return assets

The Gauhati High Court has directed the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation to restore possession of all immovable properties to Doulo Builders as the securitisation (SARFAESI) Act was wrongly applied to recover unpaid loans. The builders had taken two loans from the corporation to build cold storage in Dimapur. The loan was taken by mortgaging assets to the Model Village Council, which stood as surety. The loan became a non-performing asset. The corporation invoked the SARFAESI Act and the property of the builders was taken over. This was challenged by the builders on the ground that the property was not a secured debt with the corporation as the mortgage was with the council. This argument found favour with the high court, which ruled “it is evident that there is no ‘security agreement’ in this case and the corporation cannot claim to be a secured creditor within the meaning of the SARFAESI  Act merely on the basis of a guarantee agreement entered with the Model Village Council.”


Pollution penalty on 13 firms quashed

The Karnataka High Court has quashed the demand notices issued to 13 manufacturing companies around Bangaluru, alleging violation of environmental laws. The demands for “environmental compensation charges” were set aside on the ground that they were issued without referring to any statutory provisions or any binding order. In this batch of cases, Paragon Polymers Products vs Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, 13 firms, including Toyota Industries Engine India, Taegut India, and Microlabs, received notices. They moved the high court challenging the notices demanding up to Rs 50 lakh in compensation charges. The pollution control authorities were asked to show the power under which the notices were issued, but could not show any. They claimed the National Green Tribunal had passed an order empowering the state boards to impose fine. But they could not show any such order when required by the court. Nor could they point out any provision in the various environmental protection laws enabling them to demand such charges. The court further noted the companies were not given an opportunity to present their case before quantifying the charges in their individual cases. The court clarified the board could still take action against them invoking the relevant laws.


BMW injunction against e-rickshaw brand

The Delhi High Court has prevented an Indian company from using the 'DMW' mark for its e-rickshaws. In this case, Bayerische Motoren Werke vs Om Balajee Automobile, the German auto giant contended its brand was BMW and the Indian company was using a deceptively similar name DMW. It submitted that it entered the Indian market in 1987 when the first car was sold and in 2007 a plant was set up in Chennai.  The Indian company, selling e-rickshaws, e-carts  and electric  loaders under the mark DMW, contended that its products were different. The high court held Om Balajee prima facie guilty of violating the mark, observing that it was “obviously seeking to encash upon the brand quality and goodwill which the mark BMW enjoys in the market. Such use is detrimental to the reputation of the registered mark BMW.”



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