The Bombay High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakhs on a woman and her husband for breaching court orders and threatening to file molestation charges against their case opponent and a court receiver.
Justice S J Kathawalla, in an order passed earlier this month, took objection to the attempt made by the woman, Neha Gandhi, to obstruct the court receiver and plaintiff from doing their job and threatening to file molestation charges against them.
The court was hearing an intellectual property right infringement suit filed by a pharmaceutical company ‘Sapat and Company’ against one Feel Good India, owned by Neha Gandhi and her husband, for copying their designs in packaging of cough syrup medicines.
“Time and again, it is noted with distress by the courts, that a socially enabling piece of legislation, is being grossly misused with impunity, by the very gender for whose empowerment it has been enacted, leaving the male/s facing grossly wrong and derogatory charges, which they have to thereafter defend themselves against,” the court said in its order.
The court said that such “gross and patent misuse” of a socially enabling piece of legislation has to be sternly condemned and dealt with a very stern hand.
On December 21, 2018, the HC by way of interim order restrained the defendant company (Feel Good India) from using the packaging design and directed a court receiver to seize all goods bearing the copied label mark from the defendant’s premises.
On January 7, the HC was informed by the court receiver and the plaintiff company that they were obstructed from seizing the goods by Neha Gandhi and her husband.
The court was informed that the woman had snatched the plaintiff company representative’s phone and also threatened to file a molestation case against the court receiver and the representative.
Taking note, the court directed the owners of Feel Good India to pay a penalty of Rs 25 lakhs.
“Rs 5 lakhs shall be paid to the plaintiff and the remaining shall be deposited in favour of any hospital,” the court ordered.