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The Supreme Court’s Unsettling Attempt at Settling the Debate on Section 63 of the Copyright Act

M/s Knit Pro International vs The State of NCT of Delhi & Anr. Held that offences under Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957

The Judgment

The Supreme Court was managing a situation where “Knit Pro” enrolled an FIR against Anurag Sanghi (Respondent No. 2), for offenses under Sections 51, 63, and 64 of the Copyright Act, read with Section 420 of IPC, 1860. An application under Section 482 of the CrPC was documented to suppress the said FIR, and the criminal procedures started thereof under the watchful eye of the Delhi High Court. The conflict in the application for suppression was restricted to the contention that the offense claimed was “non-cognizable” and “bailable”- where the right modus was to record a grumbling before the concerned justice looking for consent to start an examination.

Permitting this application, the High Court held that offenses under Section 63 must be non-cognizable because of the choice of a direction seat in Naresh Kumar (supra) and the choice of SC in Avinash Bhosale (supra). The SC in Avinash Bhosale (supra) held offenses endorsing a discipline “up to” 3 years and not “over 3 years” as non-cognizable and bailable offenses as they would fall inside thing 3 of Part II of Schedule I of the CrPC. That’s what the High Court expressed despite the fact that Avinash Bhosale didn’t convey a lot of thinking because of the indistinguishable discipline endorsed in Section 63 and Section 135(1) (ii) of the Customs Act, 1962, it was restricting.

The Supreme Court, on request, noticed that the discipline recommended under Section 63 expands up to “three years.” It held that provided that the endorsed discipline is “under three years” does the offense become non-cognizable and bailable. It further held that regardless of whether the offense endorses discipline of a term of “three years or more,” ( including a time of three years), the equivalent would, unambiguously, fall inside Item-2 of Part-II of the First Schedule to CrPC, and consequently be cognizable and non-bailable.

Missed Points

By not taking a glimpse at the Copyright Act overall and by overlooking arrangements that have a significant bearing on the translation of Section 63, the Supreme Court has supported guilt in an exceptionally risky manner. A portion of our scrutinizes of the request are as beneath:

Interpretative issues

As seen over, the offenses culpable in the scope of 3 to 7 years are ordered to be Cognizable and Non-Bailable as per thing 2 of Part II of Schedule 1 of the CrPC. Notwithstanding, Section 63 gives the degree of discipline to offenses to go between a half year to 3 years. The Supreme Court just thought to be the furthest reaches of 3 years, which appears to fall inside the reach pondered in Item 2, and basically overlooked that disciplines can likewise be for under 3 years-something not examined for offenses that fall inside Item 2. Accordingly, actually, it consigned offenses that are eventually rebuffed for under 3 years to likewise be those which fall inside

Besides, Section 64 of the Copyright Act shows that the cop would be able “hold onto duplicates of encroaching works without a warrant on an activity of seizure.” No such waiver of the prerequisite of a warrant has been expressly endorsed under Section 63, given the freedom of an individual is in question there.

The goal of the Government

Under the Trademarks Act, 1999, the lawmaking body has unequivocally referenced that offenses under Sections 103, 104, and 105 of the Trademark Act, which might reach out as long as three years are cognizable (under Section 115(3)). This unequivocal notice shows that the governing body explicitly planned to make a special case for the overall rule that such offenses would commonly not be cognizable, in case it need not have referenced something very similar. No such notice finds a spot inside the Copyright Act which utilizes a word-for-word corrective arrangement.

Exclusions and Limitations to Copyright and its Infringement

As one of us had noted somewhere else before, hoisting segment 63 to be cognizable and non-bailable gives a position to the police to capture and check freedom without even judicially deciding if the utilization is encroaching or passable. This weakens the thought of exclusions and constraints to Copyright endorsed under Section 52 of the Copyright Act. The Delhi High Court, with regards to Section 64, in Event and Event Management Association v. Association of India (2012) 52 PTC 380 (Del) (second May 2011), had held that even while holding onto merchandise if a guard under Section 52 is taken, the individuals from policing to fulfill themselves that such protection is unsound given seizure could be affected without a warrant and quick discernment by justice in Section 64 as against capture.

Allowable purposes under Section 52 track down their beginning under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Possibly capturing people who may be involving works for allowed purposes appears to be totally conflicting with the goal of the lawmaking body, which cautiously organized an equilibrium inside the Copyright Act.


Indeed, it appears this judgment has made ready for a ton of discouragement, including preventing a client from utilizing protected turns out in any event, for allowed purposes, which finds its beginning under Article 19(1) of the Constitution, in case one wishes to end up in jail. Could this be protected?