Not incumbent upon plaintiff anymore to lead evidence even where defendant does not appear; injunction granted on basis of website screenshots: Del HC

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Prathiba M. Singh, J. decreed a suit injuncting the defendant from unauthorisedly broadcasting the songs over which the plaintiff had a copyright.

The plaintiff — Super Cassettes Industries — filed a suit against the defendant (cable network) for infringement of its copyright in certain songs. It was alleged that the defendant broadcasted the said songs on its channel without permission or license. When the plaintiff sent notice to the defendant, it replied by stating that it did not own the channel in question. Subsequently, the present suit was filed.

The High Court noted that despite the service of summons and notice, the defendants did not put in appearance before the Court. It was also noted that the defendant made false reply to the notice sent by the plaintiff. In view of the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Act, 2018 as well as the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018, the Court observed it to be a well-settled law that “it is no longer necessary in every matter, even when the defendant is not appearing, that the plaintiff has to lead evidence. The filing of evidence can be exempted if, from the pleadings and documents relied upon, the suit can be decided.”On perusal of the screenshots submitted by the plaintiff, the Court was satisfied that the defendant was infringing the copyright of the plaintiff. In such view of the matter, the Court decreed the suit in favour of the plaintiff and granted an injunction against the defendant as prayed for by the plaintiff. Further, a decree of damages was passed in favour of the plaintiff in light of its false reply to plaintiff’s notice. [Super Cassettes Industries (P) Ltd. v. I-Vision Digital LLP, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 12384, decided on 12-11-2018]

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