Indian Express Files Contempt Plea Against Bengaluru Publisher

The Indian Express Group on Thursday, 12 December, moved a contempt petition in the Bombay High Court against publisher Prashant Goenka and others for using its founder Ramnath Goenka's name at an award function in violation of an interim order.

Last month, while hearing an infringement suit filed by The Indian Express P Ltd, the court had directed Prashant Goenka and others not to use Ramnath Goenka's name and image on their websites and social media platforms till further orders.

Prashant Goenka is the publisher of Sajaga Samachar Parivartan Ka, a Bengaluru-based Hindi newspaper, which, according to the Group, is not part of its publications.

In the contempt plea, the Group claimed despite the HC's interim order "the respondents organised, held and participated in the Ramnath Goenka Peace Award (RNG Peace Award), 2019 function for commercial gain and sponsorship amount".

Besides the award function, Prashant Goenka and others continue to use the name and picture of Ramnath Goenka on their Facebook page, websites, brochures, YouTube and other platforms in breach of the HC's 20 November interim order, according to the petition.

Justice SC Gupte, before whom the contempt petition was filed, posted the matter for hearing on 10 January.

The infringement suit filed by The Indian Express had said Prashant Goenka was falsely claiming to be late Ramnath Goenkas grandson and passing off his newspaper as part of the 87-year-old media Group.

Indian Express counsel Dinyar Madon had argued that Prashant Goenka was seeking to ride on the reputation of the illustrious Group and its legendary founder.

During the 20 November hearing, Prashant Goenkas advocates contended their client had applied for the award's title and hence its use did not amount to infringement.

According to them, Prashant Goenka is a grandson of Ramnath Goenkas brother.

They had claimed Prashant Goenka admires Ramnath Goenka, a doyen of Indian journalism, since his childhood and has been working with an intention to maintain his reputation.

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