IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED: 9-2-2012 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE M.JAICHANDREN W.P.Nos.1295 and 1296 of 2012 and M.P.Nos.1 +1 & 2 + 2 of 2012 Sree Vishnu Bottles Represented by its Proprietor, K.Ganesh Kumar, Represented by his Power Agent, K.Anandakumar, 18/34, North Street, T.Kottampatti, Pollachi, Coimbatore District. .. Petitioner in W.P.No.1295 of 2006 Sri Selva Vinayaka Agencies Represented by its Proprietor K.Senthil Kumar, Raja Gopal Thottam, Karungal Palayam, Erode Taluk and District. .. Petitioner in W.P.No.1296 of 2006 Versus 1.The State of Tamil Nadu Represented by Secretary to Government (Home Department), St.George Fort, Chennai. 2. The Director General of Police, Office of Director General of Police, Dr.Radhakrishnan Road, Mylapore, Chennai-4. 3. The Regional Transport Officer, Office of the Regional Transport Officer, Hosur. 4. The Inspector of Police, Sipcot Police Station, Krishnagiri District. .. Respondents in
both the writ petitions.
PRAYER in W.P.No.1295 of 2012: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying for a Writ of Mandamus forbearing the respondents from interfering with the right of the petitioner to transport the old empty bottles from State of Tamilnadu to other States.
PRAYER in W.P.No.1296 of 2012: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying for a Writ of Mandamus forbearing the respondents from interfering with the right of the petitioner to transport the old empty bottles from State of Tamilnadu to other States.
For Petitioners : Mr.R.Nalliyappan For Respondents : Mr.Jaya Prakash Narayanan Additional Government Pleader (W) COMMON ORDER Heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and the learned Additional Government Pleader appearing on behalf of the respondents.
2. Since, the facts and the circumstances arising for consideration in both the above writ petitions are the same, a common order is passed.
3. It has been stated that the petitioners are dealers in old empty bottles and corrugated boxes, registered with the Commercial Taxes Department, under the provisions of the Tamilnadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959. The petitioners used to purchase papers and empty beer and brandy bottles from small merchants. The purchased bottles are being transported to the States of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, for recycling process. The goods are transported to other states and are sold to their agents through valid bills, subject to the payment of the General Sales Tax, in the name of the petitioners.
4. It has been further stated that the petitioners have been carrying on the business for more than 30 years, and the business carried on by the petitioners has been approved by the Government of Tamilnadu. As such, there has been no impediment in the transportation of the goods to other States, in the past. However, the third respondent and the fourth respondents are restraining the petitioners from transporting the old empty beer and brandy bottles to the other states, for the reason that the bottles, which are now being transported have been designed by certain distilleries and that the design of the bottles have been registered, under the Designs Act, 2000. The transportation of the bottles is also being objected to as the contents of the bottles are meant for sale in Tamilnadu only.
5. The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners had submitted that, as per Section 22 of the Designs Act, 2000, no one should be restrained, without an order of interim injunction from the District Court or any other Court, as defined under the said Section. While so, neither the respondents, nor the distillery companies could infringe on the right of the petitioners to transport the empty bottles, even if there may be restrictions in the sale of the contents of such bottles.
6. He had further submitted that the third and the fourth respondents have been stopping the vehicles belonging to the petitioners, which are carrying empty bottles to other states, without the authority of law. The First Information Reports have been filed before the police, under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code, read with Section 22(1) of the Designs Act, 2000, arbitrarily and illegally, causing irreparable financial loss and mental agony to the petitioners. The act of the respondents 3 and 4 are contrary to Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 304(a) of the Constitution of India. In such circumstances, the petitioners have approached this Court, by way of filing the above writ petitions, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
7. Per contra, the learned Additional Government Pleader appearing on behalf of the respondents had submitted that the petitioners have not been in a position to show specific instances of harassment, by respondents 3 and 4, by stopping the vehicles belonging to the petitioners, while they were transporting empty beer and brandy bottles to other states. Further, the petitioners have not been in a position to show that they have been carrying on such a business with the necessary licence or permit, as per the relevant provisions of law.
8. Even otherwise, it is for the petitioners to show cause, if and when they are asked to do so, as to how they are entitled to transport the empty beer and brandy bottles to other states, when there are rival claims made by the third parties, relating to infringement of the provisions of the Designs Act, 2000. The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents had also submitted that a general prayer, as prayed for by the petitioners, may not be granted, by this Court, especially when the petitioners had not shown sufficient cause or reason for this Court to pass such an order.
9. In view of the averments made by the learned counsels appearing on behalf of the parties concerned and on a perusal of the records available this Court is of the considered view that a general direction cannot be issued by this Court, as prayed for by the petitioners, in the above writ petitions. It is a well settled position in law that no blanket order can be passed by the Courts of law, especially, when the relief sought is vague and general in nature. The petitioners have not been in a position to substantiate their claims that the third and the fourth respondents are interfering with the transportation of the empty beer and brandy bottles, as claimed by the petitioners, arbitrarily, without the authority of law.
10. In such view of the matter, it is clear that the above writ petitions, filed by the petitioners, are devoid of merits. Hence, they are dismissed. No costs. However, it goes without saying that it would be open to the petitioners to challenge the proceedings that may be initiated by the respondents, if they are infringing the rights of the petitioners, and if they are contrary to the provisions of law and the principles of natural justice. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.
1. The Secretary to Government State of Tamil Nadu (Home Department), St.George Fort, Chennai.
2. The Director General of Police, Office of Director General of Police, Dr.Radhakrishnan Road, Mylapore, Chennai-4.
3. The Regional Transport Officer, Office of the Regional Transport Officer, Hosur.
4. The Inspector of Police, Sipcot Police Station, Krishnagiri District