Viveck Goenka, Chairman of Indian Express Group moved contempt petition against Prashant Goenka before the Bombay High Court over alleged use of name and images of group founder Ramnath Goenka for an award function (RNG Peace awards) and social media platforms.

Viveck Goenka, Chairman of Indian Express Group moved contempt petition against Prashant Goenka before the Bombay High Court over alleged use of name and images of group founder Ramnath Goenka for an award function (RNG Peace awards) and social media platforms.

The plea came up before a Single Judge Bench of Justice S C Gupte on Thursday.

The Court had last month granted ad-interim relief to the Indian Express group in an infringement suit and restrained Prashant Goenka from using name and image of Ramnath Goenka on newspaper Sajaga Samachar Parivartan Ka,  circulated in Bengaluru and for Award function and social media platforms.

In this regard, it is claimed in the contempt plea that ‘Ramnath Goenka or RNG’ remains inseparable from the newspaper The Indian Express which he nurtured and respondent has failed to follow Court Order.

Viveck Goenka and The Indian Express Group contended,

“Respondent (Prashant Goenka) with malice falsely claimed to be the grandson of Ramnath Goenka and as representative of the ‘Indian Express’ gave interviews, started a weekly and e-paper, which displays photographs of Ramnath Goenka, started a Trust called Ramnath Goenka Charitable Trust and Ramnath Goenka Journalism Award, appears on youtube.com, Facebook etc. Respondents have applied to the public for ‘donations’ in the name of Ramnath Goenka suggesting a nexus with petitioners.”

The Court had granted ad-interim injunction against Prashant Goenka and others from passing off registered Trade Marks ‘Indian Express’ and ‘Ramnath Goenka Excellence In Journalism Awards,’ and their cognate or agnate forms, either in isolation or in conjunction with goods and services of applicant Indian Express Group.

In view of this, the contempt plea filed by Viveck Goenka submits that Prashant Goenka did not abide by the High Court order. The plea states,

“The respondent (Prashant Goenka) was present in Court and is aware of the Order passed and has made press statement (video) and press release relating thereto. Despite the Order, the respondents organized, held and participated in the ‘Ramnath Goenka Peace Award or RNG Peace Award 2019 function’, held at a public venue for commercial gain and for sponsorship amounts.”

Viveck Goenka and the Indian Express Group in the plea went on to submit,

“The respondents continue to use Ramnath Goenka name and photographs in breach and contempt of Order dated November 20, 2019 in Facebook, website, brochures, youtube.com etc. besides the said Award function.”

The Court has posted the matter to be heard next on January 10, 2020.

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