201901.25
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Bombay High Court imposes Rs 25,00,000 (US $ 35,000) fine for obstructing court receiver and making false allegations

The fine of approx Us $ 35,000 was imposed in a copyright infringement case where the Defendant tried to remove the infringing goods after obstructing the Court receiver from carrying out inspection of the premises. The Defendant also threatened the Plaintiff and receiver with molestation charges. The court came down quite heavily on the defendant for misuse of law and noted

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. Such gross and patent misuse of a socially enabling piece of legislation has to be sternly condemned by the Courts and dealt with a very stern hand,”

The court also observed

parties brazenly breach the orders of the Court without any fear. In fact, I have observed and noted that the common man is under a misconception that the Civil Courts cannot pass any orders detaining them in prison and it is only a Magistrate who can do so. Again, those who are aware of the consequences, draw support from the fact that if an order sentencing them to civil prison, or a heavy fine is passed, they will file an Appeal and obtain a stay, which will effectively frustrate the sentence of imprisonment and fine imposed. This impression is required to be dispelled, and the Courts need to take stern action against such offenders.

On plea of the defendant for compassion as she acted in rage, the court’s observation were

If such abhorrent behavior is left unpunished, by showing ‘compassion’ to a person who knowingly, grossly abuses the process of law, and thereafter attempts to justify the same by saying that she did it ‘in a fit of rage’, the court will send out a wrong message to the general public, that it is not out of place for women to hold out such threats to their male counterparts, and thereafter plead for ‘compassion’. Such conduct may also deter court officials from executing court orders against women, for fear of such false and baseless charges being leveled against them.

Finally court recorded Defendants’ undertaking and asked them to pay Rs 5lacs (approx Us $ 7000) to the Plaintiff and remaining 20 Lacs (approx Us $ 28,000) to Tata memorial Hospital. A full copy of the order can be accessed here.