The Delhi High Court while dismissing the Indian Performing
Right Society's (IPRS) review application [seeking to recall
the order dated 19.03.2010, which disposed of its application for
amendment of the suit I.A. No. 3509/ 2010] in the case Indian
Performing Rights Society (Plaintiff) Vs Entertainment
Network (India) Ltd. (Defendant) stated that it is trite law
that while exercising its powers under Section 114 read with Order
47 Rule 1, Civil Procedure Code (CPC), the Court's jurisdiction
is narrow and confined. Re-appreciation of new points of arguments
or questions of law are excluded from the scrutiny of the Court in
valid exercise of review jurisdiction.
The IPRS is a registered society under the Copyrights Act, with
eminent authors, composers and publishers of Indian literary and
musical works as members. Such members have assigned their public
performing rights/broadcasting rights to the IPRS. In the suit I.A.
No. 3509/ 2010, the IPRS had claimed that Entertainment Network had
violated its copyright by unauthorized broadcast of its repertoire
without authorization or license and despite knowledge that such
rights belonged to the IPRS. It had been alleged that Entertainment
Network had infringed copyright by broadcasting musical works from
three FM Radio Stations- Bangalore, Jaipur and Hyderabad. It was
further alleged that as a consequence of a policy change in the
Central Government, the defendant was, during the pendency of the
suit permitted to set-up and operate more FM radio stations as
opposed to three. This application was dismissed by the Court which
opined that the said application at best laid out a subsequent
cause of action, which if allowed would enlarge the scope of the
suit and further delay it.
The IPRS argued their case in the subsequent review
application in the following manner:
It was argued that the order ought to be reviewed since the
only alternative that remained with them would be to resort to
multifarious litigation for adjudication of the same disputes. They
further claimed that it was an important aspect that had been
overlooked by the court, as rejection of the request for amendment
could potentially lead to conflicting judgments which could be
avoided by adopting a liberal approach and allowing the amendments
It was submitted that assuming that the Court had committed a
mistake or error, for the purpose of furthering the ends of
justice, the Court could review the previous order as a corrective
It was lastly argued that addition of new radio stations
amounted to extension of the existing cause of action and could be
brought within the existing pleadings in the IPRS's suit, in
order to avoid multifarious ness and conflicting judgments. It
would therefore be in keeping with the needs of justice to review
the previous order and to allow for the amendments.
Entertainment Network in response emphasized that the court
would review its order if there is a mistake of fact or error
apparent from the face of the record and not on the ground of
overlooking a judgment or appreciation of a legal submission or
principle. That, they contended should be covered under an appeal
and the Court cannot constitute itself as a second chamber of
appeal over its previous order.
It was further contended that the IPRS had taken no steps to
apply to the Court for amendment despite the fact that they were
aware of the 22 radio stations in 2001-2008. Thus, it was stated
that the stand taken by the court was neither illegal nor unjust
since the amendments sought to be included in the pleadings were
subsequent to the filing of the suit. Also, allowing the review
petition would mean that the Plaintiffs would acquire the right to
extend the scope of the litigation each time the defendant's
business expanded, which would mean that the concept of time-bound
resolution of disputes would have no sanctity.
The Court noted that the IPRS's assertion that allowing the
amendments could potentially eliminate multifarious litigation,
although legitimate to an extent, however, what ought to be given
importance is that the amendments as framed did not claim any
additional relief by way of damages, on account of establishment of
the new radio stations or the alleged infringement by the defendant
on that score. The Court therefore opined that in light of these
facts, the subsequent events afforded a fresh cause of action to
the IPRS, and the review if allowed, would cause grave hardship to
Entertainment Network as the present suit would be prolonged. The
Court therefore found no reason to exercise its review jurisdiction
and while doing so stated that its jurisdiction, while exercising
its powers under Section114 read with Order 47 Rule 1, CPC, is
narrow and confined.
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