IPRS forthwith restrained from granting any licence/receiving licence fee in respect of Chitra Singh & Jagjit Singh’s works

Delhi High Court:  The issue in contention was the Jagjit Singh concert being organised by Defendants 2 and 3 in New Delhi on March 18, 2016, being publicised as a “live in concert” and that Jagjit Singh “sings again for charity”. The plaintiff, Chitra Jagjit Singh, wife of the famous ghazal maestro late Shri Jagjit Singh was aggrieved that Indian Performing Right Society Ltd. (Defendant 1) continued to issue  licence in respect of Shri Jagjit Singh’s works, even though it was no longer a copyright society registered under the Copyright Act, 1957 even as per its own admission.  Reference was made to the licence issued in favour of Defendants 2 and 3 for the concert held in Mumbai, for which no payment was made to the plaintiff either by IPRS or Defendant 2.  It was pointed out that Defendants 2 and 3 had advertised to hold the concert in Delhi and the advertisement published on the website of Defendant 3 prominently displayed the picture of late Jagjit Singh with the caption “Ek Ehsaas Jagjit Singh Live in Concert” further stating  that Jagjit Singh “Sings again for Charity”. The plaintiff was aggrieved in particular by the terms in reference to her late husband who had passed away in 2011 and hence, claimed that the advertisement was completely misleading.

The Court perused a letter writen by IPRS to the Government of India wherein it had claimed that it was no longer a society within the meaning of Section 2(ffd) read with Section 33 of the Copyright Act, as the Central Government had failed to register it within one year of the date of commencement of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 and that IPRS was legally disabled from adhering to any of the pre-conditions for registration as a copyright society and thus, the certificate of registration stood surrendered. Further, it quoted that on September 3, 2013 a Civil Court of Ludhiana had ruled that IPRS was not a registered copyright society under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

The Court observed that clearly the defendant  was not competent to grant license in respect of the works, wherein the plaintiff claimed copyright as her own works, and the works produced by her late husband Jagjit Singh (in respect of which she had obtained Letters of Administration from the Bombay High Court). The Court ordered that Defendant 1 was forthwith restrained from granting any licence in respect of the works of the plaintiff and of late Shri Jagjit Singh and from recovering any license fee from any third party in respect of the said works.  [Chitra Jagjit Singh v. The Indian Performing Right Society Ltd., 2016 SCC OnLine Del 2314, order dated March 14, 2016]

Ed.: Also see the order dated March 16, 2016 whereby the Court held the advertisement to be misleading and in breach of intellectual property and privacy rights and directed the defendants to deposit Rs 5 lakhs in Court to secure the plaintiff’s rights.

Ed.: The concert was held on March 18, 2016 at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.

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