SpicyIP has just unearthed a set of IPAB rules that had been drafted by former IPAB Chairman Justice Prabha Sridevan. Despite being submitted to the government two years ago, these rules have not seen the light of the day. This is unfortunate especially because these rules could have brought more clarity and efficiency in the working of the IPAB, apart from saving time and money of litigants who have often gone to Court over ambiguity in procedure.
For example, earlier this week, I had written about a decision by the Bombay High Court where it brought some much-needed clarity on the scope of IPAB’s power to collect evidence in appellate proceedings. The existing IPAB Rules had been unclear on whether appellants can file additional evidence along with the appeal. The Bombay High Court had held that the principles behind O.41 R.27 CPC shall apply when considering the scope of IPAB’s power.
R. 13 of the revised IPAB rules make it explicitly clear that in such a situation, O.41, R.27 of the CPC will apply. Had these Rules been adopted, it would have saved not only the litigants’ money and time, but also the resources of the over-burdened Bombay High Court.
We hope the government considers publishing the rules at least now.
You can access the proposed IPAB (Procedure) Rules, 2012, here.