Bombay HC allows Muslim quota in education institutes

Lohitashwa Pratap Singh

In reference to a series of Public Interest Litigation filled by Akhil Shankar Thakur, Sanjeet Shukla ,Save Democracy Foundation and Ketan Triodar before Bombay High Court challenging the two separate ordinances promulgated by the government of Maharashtra on 9 July 2014 under Maharashtra ordinance XIII of 2014 and ordinance XIV of 2014 providing for reservation of seats for admission in aided and unaided education institutes in the state and reservation in appointing posts in public services under the state. Henceforth, providing separate 16% reservation for Maratha community ESBC (Economically an educationally backwards class ) and a separate 5% reservation for special backwards category SBC-A (Special Backward Class – A) a newly created category under which 50 sub category’s amongst Muslim are specified .

The following said provision is, itself against Maharashtra Reservation Act. Of 2001 which states no provision can be over and above the reservation aggregate of 52%, as the ordinance says the provision henceforth would be of 73% reservation [16% for Marathas and 5% for Muslims].

To enlighten this situation certain constitutional provisions are also to be brought into notice Article 15(1) –states that no discrimination against any citizen on the ground only of reservation, race, cast, sex, place of birth or any of them. However article 15(4) empowers the state that nothing in the said article shall prevent the state from making special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backwardclass of citizen .Further in the judgment Bombay HC with reference  to the law laid down by Indra Sawhney and Ashok Kumar  Thakur casehas concluded that in extra ordinary situation and for extra ordinary situation and the percentage of reservation may exceed the ceiling limit of 50%,but any excess shall be justified by state government.

The question arises weather reservation approved for Marathas as ESBC and Muslims as SBC-A is needed in such a extend that it may be called as an extra ordinary situation. Further according to Mandal report 1990, National Commission for Backward class report on 25 February 2000,Report of Maharashtra state Backward class 25 July 2008 and in the light of other relevant material Maratha community cannot be regarded as a backward class rather the mandal commission concludes that Maratha community is a “Socially advance and prestigious community”

Therefor HC approved for a specific stay for the provision for 16% reservation for Maratha, as far as the reservation for Muslim is concerned there is sufficient material [Sachar committee report, Justice Ranganath Mishea committee report, Report of the Maharashtra state minority commission].Even tough the overall percentage of reservation is henceforth increased to 57% by giving reservation to Muslim, as court said in order to bring the Muslim youth into the main stream of modern education in the state, HC allowed the reservation for Muslim in education institute but HC has put a stay on Muslim reservation under public employment as highlighted by honorable high court in the cases of M. Nagaraj and Rohtas bhankar the state has no power to break the 50 % limit of reservation hence state of Maharashtra cannot be permitted to implement ordinance XIV of 2014

No infringement in using similar prefixes by registered owners

Shatrunjay Bose, Student of law UPES, Dehradun

The Bombay High Court stated that if two parties have registrated their trademarks using identical prefix, those parties can use the same for all its trading and miscellaneous purposes and the use is not limited for use by only one of the party While relying on the Trademarks Act, the court said use of such registered trademarks by another registered owner cannot be treated as “infringement”.

The court had heard a plea by Pritikiran Katole who appealed against the district court’s order that had forbidden him from using the trademark of ‘Godwa’ which was attached with his trade and commercial enterprise. The lower court had observed that it was “breach of registered trademark” which was used by the applicant Harsha Katole.

In past the megabrand Apple has been dealt a severe blow having been told that it no longer has a monopoly on the letter “i” as part of the name for its products. A trademarks tribunal has overruled Apple’s bid to stop a small company from trademarking the name DOPi for use on its laptop bags and cases for Apple products. Apple contended that the DOPi name – which is iPod spelt backwards – was too similar to its own popular portable music player, which has sold in excess of 100 million units worldwide. But actually DOPi was an acronym which stood for Digital Options and Personalized Items. Therefore using of the same prefixes cannot lead to trademark infringement.

The use of the logo of Lexus automobiles was determined not to be confusing consumers of the Lexis database services.

In the case of Micronix India vs Mr. J.R. Kapoor the use of same prefixes was challenged were the Supreme Court observed that micro-chip technology being the basis of many of the electronic products, the word “micro” has much relevance in describing the products and therefore no one can claim monopoly over the use of the said word. Anyone producing any product with the use of micro chip technology would be justified in using the said word as a prefix to his trade name and thus who are familiar with the use of electronic goods know fully well and are not likely to be misguided or confused merely by the prefix `micro’ in the trade name. Thus, in the nutshell, the Supreme Court has held that once it is found that the word `micro’ is a common or general name descriptive of the products.

Justice Anoop V Mohta took the Trademarks Act’s provision in this matter into consideration and stated that “The main objection with regard to the word ‘Godwa’ although both the parties got registration under the provisions of the Trademarks Act, 1999, just cannot be the issue to pass such injunction order against the registered trademark owner. Such two persons cannot prevent each other from using the same registered trademark. The section itself contemplates that such registered trademark need to be treated as in their individual capacity `the sole registered proprietor’.”

The section 9 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 says that a trade shall not be registered in proviso that before the date of application for registration it has acquired a distinctive character as a result of the use made of it or is a well-known trade mark. In this case It was also observed that Harsha has been using the title since 2008 and Pritikiran since 2006 and they were both aware of each other’s use in each of their respective transactions.

The counsel on behalf of Pritikiran’s gave an undertaking to the court that his client in future, will not use the word ‘Godwa’ in the pattern and the blueprint style, in the way the other party has been using along with the emblem used by Harsha.