Delhi court issues show-cause notice to 2 Thane police officers for criminal contempt

A Delhi court has issued a show-cause notice to two police officers in Thane district of Maharashtra for alleged criminal contempt for not acknowledging the authority of a court-appointed local commissioner.

The notice sought a reply as to “why a reference of the commission of criminal contempt of this court be not made to the Delhi High Court.”

District judge Vinod Yadav was hearing a suit filed by a Maharashta-based partnership firm, which said another company in the state, engaged in a similar business, adopted a deceptively similar or identical trademark or logo, thus damaging its goodwill and reputation.

According to the plea filed in a Rohini district court, the products of the company which had adopted a confusingly similar trademark were promoted and sold through several interactive e-commerce web portals, including Delhi-based Indiamart Intermesh Ltd.

These portals could be accessed from across the globe, including the areas of Rohini and northwest Delhi. These goods were also being “passed off” in the markets of the national capital, including those in northwest Delhi, it said.

The court appointed a local commissioner on December 4 this year to visit the company’s premises in Thane and seize the goods and materials bearing the similar trademark along with the books of account and other documents, the judge noted.

He further noted that the local police was directed to render assistance and security to the court-appointed authority.

But when the local commissioner visited the police station at Vithal Bhai Patel Road in the city on December 13, the police officials concerned refused to acknowledge the court’s order, and instead asked him to seek orders from the local court, the judge said.

Referring to several judgments which established the legal position of a local commissioner, the court said the officer-in-charge of the police station and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) concerned “committed criminal contempt” of the court.

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It said according to law, a reference of the matter (criminal contempt of a district court) had to be made to the Delhi High Court.

“The interest of justice, however, demands that a show cause notice is liable to be issued to the officer-in-charge namely Kishore Kumar Shinde and DCP namely Vishal Thakur to show cause as to why a reference of the commission of criminal contempt of this court be not made to the Delhi High Court,” the court said in an order dated December 22.

“Let the show cause notice aforesaid be served upon the alleged contemptors through Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, Commissioner of Police, Mumbai Police as well as through concerned Principal District and Sessions Judge,” it added.

The matter has been listed on January 6 for further proceedings.

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