Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued summons in a suit by owner of Amul trademark, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Limited, against a video which uses Amul’s trademark while showing torture and cruelty to cows (Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation vs Nitin Jain & Ors).
Following GCMMF’s (plaintiff) apprehension that the disparaging and defamatory video was borne out of propaganda, a single-judge Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta directed the uploader to show on affidavit, how the plaintiff indulged in cruelty to cows and why the Amul mascot was used in the video.
The court also sought an affidavit disclosing whether the uploader has made “any profits out of the videos”.
Since the videos were in public domain since the year 2018 and the uploader claimed that it was not using the ‘AMUL’ trademark for commercial purposes, the Court deemed it appropriate to not pass any ad interim injunction for now and await the uploader’s reply.
Response was also sought from social media platforms YouTube and Facebook.
The plaintiff moved the court earlier this year against the video titled “Unholy Cattle of India: Exposing Cruelty in the Indian Dairy Industry”.
As per the plaintiff, the video is defamatory and slanderous, and spreads false narrative and information on Amul products.
The video was uploaded by one Nitin Jain, proprietor of Bengaluru Brigade for Animals Liberation.
It was the plaintiff’s grievance that while speaking about “ill-treatment” of cattle and asking the public to discard the intake of milk and dairy products to prevent it, the video specifically targeted and referred to Amul products.
As a consequence, the viewers were led to believe that the plaintiff was instrumental in inflicting the cruelty as shown in the video, it was contended.
The plaintiff submitted that it was India’s largest cooperative society which distributed its profits back to the farmer and contributed to the development of not only individual members but also the entire village community.
It was added that the plaintiff held a significant percentage of market and it procured more than 80 lakh kg milk from more than 11,000 village milk cooperative societies and 36 lakh farmers on a regular basis.
The plaintiff also clarified that all dairy animals were in the care and shelter of the member farmers and were not subjected to any sort of cruelty.
It was therefore argued that the “misleading, frivolous and baseless allegations” in the video adversely affected the plaintiff’s goodwill and injured its “unbridled reputation”.
The matter will be heard next on April 26.
The suit was filed through Advocate Abhishek Singh.
Senior Advocate Chetan Sharma with Advocates Abhishek Singh, Akshay Gadeock, Aayushi Mishra, J Amal Anand appeared for the plaintiff.
Senior Advocate Raj Panjawani with Advocates Supriya Juneja, Aditya Singla, Priyanka Bangari, Heena Rohra, Sheikh F Kalia appeared for the uploader, Nitin Jain.
YouTube was represented by Advocates Neel Mason, Ridhima Pabbi, Ekta Sharma, Aditi Umapathy.
Apart from the present case, the plaintiff is also pursuing a separate suit against another defamatory video. In this case, the uploader concerned has already undertaken to remove all references made to the plaintiff and its products in the video.