Facts of the Case:
Yamini Manohar (the petitioner) filed a revision petition challenging the order
passed by the District Judge (Commercial Court)-01, South District, Saket
Courts, New Delhi. The order dismissed the petitioner's application seeking
rejection of the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code,
1908 (CPC). The suit was filed by the respondent, T K D Keerthi, seeking a
permanent injunction for trademark infringement and passing off, along with
other reliefs. The petitioner argued that the plaint should be rejected as the
plaintiff failed to comply with the mandatory requirement of pre-institution
mediation under Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.
Court and Bench:
The case was heard in the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi by Hon'ble Mr.
Justice Amit Bansal.
- Whether the plaint should be rejected for non-compliance with the
pre-institution mediation requirement under Section 12A of the Commercial
- Whether the suit contemplates any urgent interim relief, justifying the
bypassing of the mandatory provision of Section 12A?
The petitioner contended that the plaint should be rejected as the plaintiff
failed to comply with the provisions of Section 12A of the Commercial Courts
Act. They relied on the Supreme Court judgment in Patil Automation (P) Ltd.
v. Rakheja Engineers (P) Ltd
., 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1028, which held that
pre-institution mediation is mandatory. The petitioner argued that the mere
filing of an application for interim injunction does not exempt the plaintiff
from complying with Section 12A.
The respondent argued that in cases involving intellectual property, interim
injunctions are crucial for protecting the rights of the plaintiff and the
public. They claimed that the suit contemplated urgent interim relief, and
therefore, there was no need for pre-institution mediation. The respondent cited
the cease and desist notice issued to the petitioner and the filing of a Notice
of Opposition against the petitioner's trademark application as grounds for
Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act mandates pre-institution mediation for
suits that do not contemplate any urgent interim relief. The Supreme Court, in
Patil Automation (P) Ltd. v. Rakheja Engineers (P) Ltd
., held that
compliance with Section 12A is mandatory. However, the judgment did not address
the interpretation of the phrase "contemplate any urgent interim relief."
The court examined the arguments of both parties and referred to the relevant
provisions and case laws. It noted that the Supreme Court in Patil Automation
(P) Ltd. did not address the meaning of "contemplate any urgent interim relief."
However, the court found guidance in the Division Bench judgment in Chandra
Kishore Chaurasia v. R A Perfumery Works Private Ltd
., which held that the
determination of whether a suit involves urgent relief is solely based on the
pleadings and relief sought by the plaintiff. The court also cited Bolt
Technology OU v. Ujoy Technology Private Limited and Ors.
, where a similar
interpretation was adopted.
Considering these precedents, the court analyzed the nature of the plaintiff's
suit and the relief sought. It observed that the plaintiff had issued a cease
and desist notice to the petitioner and had also filed a Notice of Opposition
against the petitioner's trademark application. These actions indicated that the
plaintiff sought urgent interim relief to protect their intellectual property
Based on the evidence presented, the court concluded that the plaintiff's suit
indeed involved urgent interim relief. Therefore, the court held that the
plaintiff was not required to undergo pre-institution mediation under Section
12A of the Commercial Courts Act. The court emphasized that the determination of
whether a suit contemplates urgent interim relief should be based on the facts
and circumstances of each case, as well as the relief sought by the plaintiff.
The court's interpretation and application of Section 12A of the Commercial
Courts Act in this case provide clarity on the requirement of pre-institution
mediation. The court recognized the importance of protecting intellectual
property rights and acknowledged that in certain cases, urgent interim relief
may be necessary to prevent further infringement or damage. This decision
strikes a balance between the mandatory pre-institution mediation provision and
the need for timely and effective remedies in intellectual property disputes.
It is important to note that this analysis is based on the information provided
and may not capture all the intricacies of the actual court proceedings. For a
comprehensive understanding of the case, it is advisable to refer to the
complete judgment and consult legal experts.
Ratio of the case:
when a suit involves urgent interim relief, the mandatory requirement of
pre-institution mediation under Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act does