In an order that could have far reaching consequences, Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered the Registrar of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Mumbai to collate all the data of pending cases pertaining to Section 156 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and send it to the court.
Section 156 of CrPC pertains to the powers of police officers to investigate cognizable cases.
The division bench of Justice Ranjit more and Justice Revati Mohite Dhere on Wednesday ordered the data to be provided within two weeks as Advocate Shyam Marwadi appearing for petitioner novex communication private limited told the court that police officers refuse to register cases and when magistrate courts are approached then even courts do not hear the cases for months and even years at end.
Novex communication, a private limited company had filed a number of cases in Mumbai as well as Navi Mumbai against various hotels for violating copyrights act. Marwadi explained that Novex has the ground performance rights of Yash Raj Films and Zee Music which means that any hotel or organiser playing music from these banners has to take performance license either to play it on the music system or for an orchestra to perform the music.
However a number of hotels and organisers did not pay for these licenses and were found playing the music. When officials of Novex approached the local police, they refused to register the case against extremely well known hotels. Thus Novex had to approach magistrate courts so that the police could be ordered but cases filed in 2015 have not been heard even till date and thus Marwadi told the court that "such delays only ensure that police investigation is delayed and evidence is lost."
The division bench will be hearing this case again after two weeks when the data has been provided by the lower court.