24 Sep 2022 2:16 PM GMT
Rupa Publications has withdrawn its yet-to-be-released book 'The Mussoorie Murders' after ITC Group's famous and historic hotel 'The Savoy' approached Delhi High Court with a suit seeking permanent and mandatory injunction against it.The hotel had also got an FIR registered against the publisher alleging that the book contained defamatory content against it. The book makes mention of...
Rupa Publications has withdrawn its yet-to-be-released book 'The Mussoorie Murders' after ITC Group's famous and historic hotel 'The Savoy' approached Delhi High Court with a suit seeking permanent and mandatory injunction against it.
The hotel had also got an FIR registered against the publisher alleging that the book contained defamatory content against it. The book makes mention of "fictional murder stories" at the hotel and also uses a picture of the hotel's facade on its cover, as per the complaint made to the police.
The bench of Justice Mini Pushkarna was informed on Friday that The Savoy Hotel of Mussoorie and the book publisher signed an agreement and settled the issues on September 04. The court then dismissed the suit as withdrawn.
The book authored by Divyraroop Bhatnagar was earlier available for pre-order on e-commerce platforms and was set for launch on September 9. "Over the years, The Savoy Hotel in Mussoorie has earned a reputation for being haunted," the blurb on the book's cover read.
The Savoy Hotel on September 2 told the court that the book is defamatory to its reputation as there are grave allegations which may cast fear in the minds of customers and guests. As per the hotel, the book tried to scandalise and defame its image. The publication of the book will create unwarranted fear among guests, the court was told.
It was also submitted before the court that the book's cover features the facade of the hotel and the description of the book specifically mentions its name. "Both of which are protected under the relevant intellectual property rights and have been used by the defendants without the prior requisite permission of the plaintiff," the court was told.
On the day of book's planned release on September 5, the court was informed by hotel's counsel that a letter was received by it from the publisher that it has decided to withdraw the launch as well as the book's publication and circulation with immediate effect.
"Also, the published stock of the books shall be pulped and destroyed with immediate effect," the letter produced before the court said, adding the advertisements about the book launch will also be withdrawn.
Rupa Publication in the letter also said that neither the publisher nor the author had any intention to defame the hotel and that there was no ill intention on their part. There was no mensrea attached to the act and they were not aware about any ongoing or past litigations related to the issue, said the letter further.
On September 23, the court was told the parties have signed the letter and reached the agreement. In terms of the agreement, the Court was informed, the FIR which was registered by the hotel may also be withdrawn.
"Let the parties take appropriate steps in terms of the settlement," the Court said.
Title: THE SAVOY HOTEL v. RUPA PUBLICATION PVT LTD
Savoy hotel was represented by Advocates Arnav Mittal, Shashank Rai, Banshika Garg and Ritika Gaur.