Transmission lines over mining lands
The Supreme Court
has set aside the judgment of the Chhattisgarh
high court and allowed the Power Grid Corporation of India to lay transmission lines on the mining land of cement manufacturer Century Textiles & Industries Ltd. The high court had directed the government undertaking to pay compensation to the mining firm. Both parties moved the Supreme Court
against the decision. Power Grid argued that it has power to raise transmission towers across private land if necessary under the Telegraph Act and the Electricity Act. Century did not want compensation and contended that blasting would not be possible if towers are built. The Supreme Court
rejected Century’s arguments. It said that under the Telegraph Act “unobstructed access to lay down telegraph/electricity transmission lines is an imperative in the larger public interest. Electrification of villages all over the country and availability of telegraph lines are the most essential requirements for growth and development of any country. The legislature has not permitted any kind of impediment/ obstruction in achieving this objective.”
IT Act given precedence over IPC
If a person has been acquitted of the charge of transmitting obscene material in electronic form under the Information Technology Act, he cannot be charged for the same offence under the Indian Penal Code.
The IT Act, being a later law, would prevail over the IPC, the Supreme Court
ruled in the case, Sharat Babu vs Govt of NCT. In this case, the executive of a firm was accused of transmitting obscene material in electronic form. He moved the Delhi High Court for quashing the charges. It discharged him under the IT Act, but allowed prosecution under IPC, which deals with sale and distribution of books, pictures and other prurient objects. On appeal, the Supreme Court
set aside the high court judgment and said that once the charges under Section 67 of the IT Act was found untenable, the accused person cannot be proceeded against under Section 292 of the IPC. The IT Act has special provisions with regard to criminal acts and they override the provisions of the old IPC. The judgment added: “When the IT Act in various provisions deals with obscenity in electronic form, it covers the offence under Section 292 IPC.”
High court role in disciplinary action
The Supreme Court
last week stated that though the finding of facts by a disciplinary authority should be accepted, the high court can intervene if it is not supported by evidence and no reasonable person would arrive at such decision. In those cases, the high court is duty-bound to examine the evidence and grant relief in appropriate cases, the court asserted in the judgment, Allahabad Bank vs Krishna Narayan. Granting partial relief to the bank manager who was dismissed, the judgement commented that the disciplinary authority in this case did not appear to have properly appreciated the evidence nor recorded reasons in support of his conclusion. “All told,” said the judgment, the Enquiry Officer, the Disciplinary Authority and the Appellate Authority have faltered in the discharge of their duties resulting in miscarriage of justice.”
Settling a pharma trade name dispute
The Delhi High Court last week granted an injunction in favour of pharmaceutical firm FDC Ltd against Docsuggest Healthcare Services Ltd in their dispute over the use of the trade name Ziffi in medicines and medical services. FDC claimed that it had registered the name for its antibiotic and other range of medicines in 2001 and has wide sales in India and abroad. It complained that the opposite party was using the same name for its websites and services. They are in the business of providing online services for appointment of doctors, diagnostic centres, spas and salons and other healthcare services under the trading style Ziffi and Ziffi.com and confusing the customers. Granting the injunction, the high court stated that there was prima facie case for passing an injunction. Docsuggest and its website Ziffi.com and a mobile application under the disputed mark were generating revenue out of the name which was very similar to that of FDC’s. It is thereby taking unfair advantage of the registered mark of FDC. The judgment remarked that it was commercial exploitation of the trade mark and by passing-off the products and services, it affected the reputation and growing business of FDC.