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The Cognizance Of Internet Downloaded Documents In A Quasi Judicial Proceeding

By passage of time every thing changes, ways of communication and knowledge sharing mode too. Present days are days of Technology, days of internet. Advent of internet has introduced many things in life, way of marketing also.

Every moment many gigabytes of information are being feeded on the internet. Products are being shared , marketed through internet. It has become strong source of marketing the products too. That's why the world has seen emergence of Amzon, Indiamart , ebays etc.

The Judiciary has been posed with task of ease out the tension which emerges from the society. When the world has changes, then judiciary should also change its approach and so has been done in a recent case by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi.

When on the basis of information available on the internet, if products can be marketed , then why information available on the internet , should not be considered as evidence by the court or Tribunal?

This question was addressed by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in Appeal bearing C.A. (COMM.IPD-TM) 5/2021, titled as Excitel Pvt. Ltd. v/s Registrar of Trademark. The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi has disposed off this Appeal vide Judgement dated 18.07.2022, where by it has recognized the value of internet extracts in a judicial proceedings.

The present Appeal was filed against order dated 28.10.2020 where application of the Petitioner namely REELTIME in relation to scientific and technological services was rejected by the Registrar of Trademark.

The Registrar of Trademark, while doing so, observed that Internet extracts do not constitute primary evidence and can only be considered as secondary evidence. Hence, the mark does not have any user. Question is this, whether the quasi judicial authorities , like Registrar of Trademarks can reject the documents downloaded from the internet in such a manner?

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi , while setting aside the Order of Registrar of Trademarks, observed that rejecting the evidence extracted hereinabove, on the ground that it does not constitute primary evidence would be an incorrect approach inasmuch as the genuineness of the printout can be easily checked by the examiner by accessing the internet at the time of hearing.

The court further indicated that if there is any doubt in respect of printouts that have been filed by the Appellant, at best, the examiner can call for an affidavit under Section 65B of the Information Technology Act, 2000, (hereinafter IT Act).

Thus it is clear that internet extracts filed by a party can not be rejected only on the ground that the same do not constitute primary evidence and can only be considered as secondary evidence. Be it a judicial proceeding before a court or a quasi judicial authority, like registrar of Trademark.

There is always an option to direct a party to file requisite affidavit in support of internet extracts under Section 65 B of the Evidence Act. Thus the Hon'ble Court taken cognizance of internet extracts also. That can be considered in a judicial or quasi judicial proceeding both , provided requisite affidavit under Section 65 B of the evidence Act.

Case Law Discussed
Case Title: Excitel Pvt. Ltd. v/s Registrar Of Trademark

Date Of Judgement: 18.07.2022
Case:C.A. (Comm.Ipd-Tm) 5/2021
Name Of Hon'ble Court: High Court Of Delhi
Name Of Hon'ble Judge: The Honourable Justice Prathiba M Singh

Written By: Ajay Amitabh Suman, IPR Advocate, Hon'ble High Court of Delhi
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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