Brief Facts of the Case – In this case,
an individual namely, Tarun Tyagi (hereinafter referred to as the
Petitioner) filed the present petition for quashing an order passed
by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on November 6, 2013 in the
Background of the case- Initially, the
complaint was filed against the Petitioner by the company Unistal
Systems Pvt. Ltd. (hereinafter referred as the Complainant Company)
of which the Petitioner was an employee from 2003 to 2005. The
Complainant Company is engaged in the business of providing data
Allegedly, after leaving the services of the Complainant in
September, 2005 the Petitioner set up a company namely M/s Prodata
Doctor Private Limited (hereinafter referred as the
Petitioner's Company). The Petitioner's Company was also
engaged in a similar business of data recovery and developing
software applications for computers.
The Complainant Company in suspicion of theft of its source code
by the Petitioner registered a FIR with the CBI (Central Bureau of
Investigation) wherein it alleged that somewhere around March, 2005
the Petitioner had stolen the source codes of a software known as
"Quick Recovery" and the same was offered for sale by the
Petitioner's company under the name
In view of the above complaint, the CBI conducted seizure of
documents and disks from the Petitioner's company. Meanwhile in
2008, the Complainant Company preferred a suit for perpetual
injunction and damages against the Petitioner alleging infringement
of its copyright of software named, Quick Recovery. The suit of the
Complainant Company was based on the footing that the Petitioner
had stolen the source code of a software developed by it and the
same was put up for sale by the company owned by the Petitioner by
making some cosmetic changes in the software.
Section 66 of the
Information Technology Act, 2000 implicates penalty and/ or
imprisonment on those who commit computer related offences like
damage to computer system or network or steals, conceals,
destroys or alters or causes any person to steal, conceal, destroy
or alter any computer source code used for a computer resource with
an intention to cause damage
Pursuant to the aforesaid, the CBI filed a charge sheet against
the Petitioner under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act
and Copyright Act.
Thereafter, the Petitioner preferred an application seeking
supply of copies of documents but the said application was
dismissed by the impugned order passed by the Chief Metropolitan
Magistrate stating that no cloned copies of hardware containing
incriminating evidence can be prepared with the protected software
to avoid its further misuse by the Petitioner during pendency of
Petitioner's submission- That the
rewriting of a language which is otherwise freely available online
on the basis of an original idea of which the Petitioner or such
other person may have carried, is clearly permissible in law and
hence as contended the Complainant had no copyright in the software
Court's order- The High Court of
Delhi in view of the facts and circumstances of the case did not
set aside the impugned order of Trial Court and observed that the
facts indicated that there were chances of the software being
misused by the Petitioner.
The Court was of the view that the findings in the impugned
order were free from any infirmity and hence no interference was
warranted in the same.
Conclusion- The present case reflects
a very sensitive issue i.e. theft of data or source codes by the
employees. As a company's data is accessible by employees, it
becomes vulnerable to IP infringement. Hence, it is essential that
adequate protection of data is ensured and confidentiality clauses
are incorporated in employment agreements in such a manner that
they firmly prohibit misuse of data by employees.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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