Add a disclaimer says Supreme Court: Bata has happy feet


Every time a lawyer (or in this case, a blogging spectator) predicts how a case will proceed, you usually cross your fingers and hope you’re right.

In the case of Bata v. Prakash Jha Productions, I had said I would be surprised if Bata went to the Supreme Court or if the SLP would be admitted. I was wrong on the former count, and right on the latter. 
But the SLP did not need to be admitted because in this wonderfully unusual order, once again delivered in record time, the Supreme Court has asked the production house to run a disclaimer when the song is played.
The order (interim in nature) is short and succinct, but makes a couple of very important observations: 
(i) The song appears in context of the movie;
(ii) The use of the names of the business houses including BATA is in poor taste, and could have been avoided;
(iii) “Poor taste” does not imply that the reputation of those business houses was meant to be tarnished;
Keeping all of these factors in mind, the Supreme Court looked for a via media option, and found a tailor made solution in an order of the Calcutta High Court by the Single Judge (later upheld by the Division Bench).
The solution entails the Respondent adding a disclaimer when the song is played stating: 

“Use of the names of the song are merely as  example. No injury or disrespect is intended to any particular  person or brand.” 

A similar disclaimer is to be added to the audio version of the song.
It’s a good day to be walking in Bata’s shoes, though this blogger wonders if this disclaimer will attract more attention to the otherwise almost unnoticeable reference to Bata.
Hat tip: My very resourceful (probably prefers being anonymous) friend.

Note to the readers: If anyone knows which case from Calcutta the Supreme Court is referring to, do let us know. Would be great to link it to the post. Update: The order of the Single Judge of Calcutta has been linked thanks to our wonderful readers. 

6 comments.

  1. AvatarAnonymous

    Yes this disclaimer will definitely attract more attention than otherwise almost unnoticeable reference to Bata. I remember having done a similar case for defendants. My client was rather happy to give the disclaimer.

    Reply
  2. AvatarUtsav

    I believe its the case Birla filed against Prakash Jha for the same film in the Calcutta High Court, where the HC provided the disclaimer route.

    Not sure if the order has been reported but it’s definitely discussed in the media.

    Reply
  3. AvatarRanjan Jha

    Dear Kruttika,
    Its
    BASANT KUMAR BIRLA & ORS. Vs PRAKASH JHA & ORS.
    (TA 111/2012 WITH
    T 104/2012-listed as Item No.42 before Justice I.P.Mukherji of Calcutta High Court on 11.10.2012 when the injunction was refused)

    Reply
  4. AvatarRanjan Jha

    Dear Kruttika,

    Furtherence to my earlier comment containing case detail, you may find the interesting order passed by Calcutta High Court on 11.10.2012 on the following link: http://judis.nic.in/Judis_Kolkata/detail.aspx
    or even by manual case status searching on the court’s website by placing case no. TA(Tender Application) No. 111 of 2012.

    Reply
  5. Avataranushree rauta

    Ld. Single Judge Hon’ble Justice I.P. Mukherjee of Calcutta High Court passed the order on 11th October, 2012 in TA No. 111 of 2012in T No. 104 of 2012: Basant Kumar Birla and Ors. versus Prakash Jha and Ors.

    Appeal order passed by The Hon’ble JUSTICE ASHIM KUMAR BANERJEE
    The Hon’ble JUSTICE SHUKLA KABIR (SINHA) on 19th October, 2012. [GA NO.2864 OF 2012
    APOT NO.496 OF 2012
    CS NO.345 OF 2012]

    Reply

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