It appears on a reading of the decision in Mohan Lal (supra) that Order 2 Rule 3 CPC may have escaped the attention of the full bench, the bench observed.
The Delhi High Court has referred to a larger bench (bench of larger quoram than three judges) to look into the aspect of maintainability of a composite suit in relation to infringement of a registered design and for passing off, where the parties to the proceedings are the same, in the light of Order II Rule 3 CPC, which permits joinder of causes of action.
The court said the decision of full bench in Mohan Lal vs Sona Paint, which had expressly held that a composite suit for design infringement and passing off is not maintainable, needs reconsideration.
It was contended that in Mohan Lal case, the full bench had placed reliance on thr apex court decision in Dabur India Limited vs KR Industries. According to the counsel, the Supreme Court in the said case had said two causes of action cannot be clubbed in a composite suit, only where they do not arise within the jurisdiction of the same court. It was also contended that the full bench in Mohan Lal case ignored the express provision contained in Order 2 Rule 3 CPC, which permits joinder of causes of action.
Appreciating the contentions advanced, Justice Vipin Sanghi observed: “It appears on a reading of the decision in Mohan Lal (supra) that Order 2 Rule 3 CPC may have escaped the attention of the Full Bench. There is also force in the submission of Mr. Chandra that the observations made in K.R. Industries (supra) may not have been appreciated in the correct context. However, this Court cannot ignore and go contrary to a judgment of the Full Bench of this very Court.”
This discussion arose as it was contended by the defendant’s counsel that present suit should be confined to a consideration of the plaintiff’s case with regard to the alleged infringement of the registered design, and not to passing off.
The Court, however, dismissed the application seeking interlocutory injunction filed by Carlsberg Breweries A/S against Som Distilleries and Breweries Limited.
Read the Judgment here.