Bombay High Court stays probe in criminal defamation case against Sony Pictures over Scam 1992 series

Today, that is August 23, the Bombay High Court reportedly granted ad-interim protection from arrest to the directors, and employees of Sony Pictures Network India Pvt Ltd, owner of the SonyLIV OTT platform in a case registered against them. The Karad Urban Co-operative Bank (KUCB) registered a case for alleged defamation and trademark infringement of the logo of the bank in the web series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story.  

The division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar of the Bombay High Court stayed the probe. The decision was announced after Senior Advocate Shirish Gupte appearing for Sony made two-fold submissions. It was stated, "That no FIR could have been registered for an offence of defamation considering it was a non-cognizable offence," and "that the offences under the Trademarks Act have to be investigated by an officer equivalent or higher than the rank of Deputy Superintendent of the Police; however in the present case, the investigation is being conducted by an Inspector."

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In response to this, the Justices directed the Pune Police to reflect on the grounds in the petition and the submissions made by Mr Gupte. The Bombay High Court stated that till the corrections are not made by the officers, the investigation will be stayed. "At this stage it is not necessary to elaborate further, suffice it is to say that the investigation cannot go on further. Ad-interim stay on the investigation granted till next date of hearing," the court said as per a law and order publication. The next hearing is on September 17.

In July this year, the Karad Urban Co-operative Bank (KUCB) lodged an FIR at Sahakar Nagar Police station in Pune. It was claimed that during one of the episodes in Scam 1992, a logo was displayed in the background which “resembles” the bank's trademark, thereby causing serious damage to its “financial, commercial and social reputation”. 

(Source: Bar And Bench)