The second respondent is Field Officer of M/s. Star Protection Private Limited, which has been authorized by Media Pro Enterprise India Private Limited to take all remedial legal action including lodging report, filing of F.I.R. on behalf of Media Pro Enterprises India Private Limited to curb the unauthorized access, reception and copyright violation of various channels. M/s. Deccan Communication Network and its Proprietor/Partners, link operations, sub-operators in Bodhan are indulging in illegal and unauthorized re-transmitting by illegally stealing signals and distributing/re-transmitting, thereby committing offences of theft and infringement of copyrights. the petitioner is indulging in illegal and unauthorized re-transmitting by illegally stealing signals and distributing/re-transmitting to its customers thereby cheated the complainant and caused infringement of copyright. Whether the petitioner was distributing/re-transmitting signals to customers in respect of those channels or not; whether it can be possible without a proper authorization from the complainant or not, are the matters required to be investigated into by police. The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the petitioner cannot retransmit the signals to its customers unless the complainant authorizes to utilize the services, has to be decided during investigation. Therefore, there are no grounds to quash the impugned proceedings.


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE K.C. BHANU

 

CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 891 of 2013

 

O R D E R:


         These Criminal Petitions are filed seeking to quash the proceedings in crime no.32 of 2013 of Bodhan police station, Nizamabad District registered for the offences punishable under Sections 51, 63 and 65 of the Copyright Act, 1957 and 379 IPC.
2.      The second respondent lodged a report before police alleging as follows:
         The second respondent is Field Officer of M/s. Star Protection Private Limited, which has been authorized by Media Pro Enterprise India Private Limited to take all remedial legal action including lodging report, filing of F.I.R. on behalf of Media Pro Enterprises India Private Limited to curb the unauthorized access, reception and copyright violation of various channels.  M/s. Deccan Communication Network and its Proprietor/Partners, link operations, sub-operators in Bodhan are indulging in illegal and unauthorized re-transmitting by illegally stealing signals and distributing/re-transmitting, thereby committing offences of theft and infringement of copyrights.  Media Pro Enterprise Private Limited sent notice to the said network vide letter dated 4.1.2013 to cease and desist from indulging in such activities.  However, it continued to commit the above offences.  The complainant collected evidence by way of video-graphing of such illegal act of telecast of channels on 28.1.2013 at Bodhan Town.  Hence, the complaint.  
3.      Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that unless the complainant gives authorization to utilize the services, the petitioner cannot retransmit the signals; that after the existing period of licence was over, the complainant demanded huge amount and as the petitioner failed to pay that amount, a false case is foisted, and hence, continuation of the impugned proceedings is nothing but abuse of process of court.
4.      On the other hand, learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the first respondent-State contended that the allegations in the complaint made out a prima facie case for the offences alleged, and so, there are no grounds to quash the impugned proceedings.
5.      Inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. can be exercised to prevent abuse of process of court or to secure ends of justice or to give effect to the order passed under the Code.   At the initial stage of investigation, the First Information Report is sought to be quashed.  There cannot be any dispute that if the allegations in the First Information Report do not disclose a prima facie case of the offences alleged, then only further investigation is nothing but abuse of process of Court.  At this stage, it is not necessary to sift or weigh the contents in the First Information Report.  If the Investigating Officer suspects that a prima facie cognizable offence is committed, then it is his statutory duty to conduct investigation and that duty cannot be curtailed or interdicted exercising the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
6.      The allegation is that the petitioner is indulging in illegal and unauthorized re-transmitting by illegally stealing signals and distributing/re-transmitting to its customers thereby cheated the complainant and caused infringement of copyright.  Whether the petitioner was distributing/re-transmitting signals to customers in respect of those channels or not; whether it can be possible without a proper authorization from the complainant or not, are the matters required to be investigated into by police.  The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the petitioner cannot retransmit the signals to its customers unless the complainant authorizes to utilize the services, has to be decided during investigation.  Therefore, there are no grounds to quash the impugned proceedings.
7.      The Criminal Petition is, accordingly, dismissed.  Observations, if any, made in this order are only for the purpose of disposal of this Criminal Petition, and uninfluenced by the observations, police shall conduct investigation in accordance with law. 
Miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, in the Criminal Petition shall stand dismissed.   

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K.C.BHANU, J
6.2.2013
DRK

THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE K.C.BHANU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 891 of 2013








6.2.2013

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