The Supreme Court has set aside the order of the Kerala high court which allowed tourist sites to come up in Lakshadweep islands without obtaining various clearances regarding environment, coastal zone restrictions, conversion of land and other rules. The high court proceeded on “humanitarian and equitable considerations, neglecting more important questions that have an impact on the future development of the islands,” the Supreme Court observed in the judgment, Union Territory of Lakshadweep vs Seashells Beach Resorts. Such considerations are misplaced in a situation where the erection of buildings violated the coastal regulatory zones requirements. The court appointed an expert committee headed by its ex-judge, Justice R V Raveendran, to make a comprehensive report on all aspects of development of the islands from the tourist and environmental angles.
Court names independent arbitrator
The Supreme Court has stated that though normally it shall make the appointment of an arbitrator in terms of the agreed procedure between parties, it may deviate from it after recording reasons for the same. The court thus appointed Justice Ashok C. Agarwal, retired Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, as the sole arbitrator, to adjudicate disputes that have arisen between Bipromasz Bithoughpron Trading SA and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). When the disputes rose, the foreign company wanted arbitration, but BEL opposed it on the ground that according to the terms of the agreement, the issues have to be referred to its Chairman and Managing Director or his nominee. The court, however, recognized the apprehensions of the Polish company that the arbitrator nominated by BEL, who is a subordinate of the chairman, would not act impartially. “The CMD itself would not be able to act independently and impartially being amenable to the directions issued by the Ministry of Defence,” the judgment said.
Workers to get wages during appeal
Delhi high court has ruled that workers who have received a labour tribunal award of reinstatement are entitled to wages last drawn even if there is an appeal pending against the award. However, the workers cannot claim this benefit if they are getting adequate remuneration under another employer. In this case, Mrs Kiran Uppal Prop. M/S Clas vs Ashok Kumar, the employers alleged that its former workers were self-employed and therefore they were not entitled to the benefit under Section 17B of the Industrial Disputes Act. The workers countered it by stating that they were engaged in small trade for their own and their family’s survival. Accepting their submissions, the high court stated that the employer must prove that the workers were getting adequate income. This has not been done in this case. So the high court granted the request of the workers that they were entitled to wages from 2005, the date of the award when the industrial tribunal declared their termination illegal and ordered them to be taken back.
No trade mark claim on ‘Ananda’
A division bench of the Delhi high court has rejected the petition of Ihhr Hospitality Ltd seeking an injunction against Bestech India Ltd in a case of trade mark dispute over the word Ananda. Ihhr is in the business of running leisure hotels including spas, one in Mauritius and in India. It is the registered proprietor of the service mark 'Ananda' and registered proprietor of the same word as a trade mark pertaining to Ayurvedic and herbal preparations, toiletries, bread, biscuits and cakes.
Its grievance was that the other company was marketing apartments in a group housing gated complex under the name: 'Bestech Park View Ananda'. It complained that the activity of constructing and selling apartments related to a cognate field of establishing leisure hotels and spas and thus it claimed that its goodwill was being traded upon by the rival. Earlier, a single judge bench had rejected the claim that the trade mark had achieved distinctiveness and a degree of association with Ihhr. It is not a coined word. It means 'bliss' in Sanskrit and it is in public domain. The division bench upheld this view.