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A single bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw on 28 May, 2019 dismissed the petition in the case of Raj Rewal v Union of India and Ors. The petitioner who is the architect of the Hall of Nations and the Nehru Pavilion at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan came before the court to seek injunction and compensation from the Central Government and Indian Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) for demolishing the above mentioned buildings.

The petitioner invoked section 57 of the Copyright Act, 1957 which talks about author’s special rights. He argued that the demolition of his work was “prejudicial to his honor and reputation.”

After hearing the side of the petitioner, the HC quoted the US Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor,

“We apply law to facts. We do not apply feelings to facts.”

The HC quoted many cases and statutes of other countries, stating that,

“The principle is that the work should not be rendered imperfect, affecting the honour and reputation of the Architect. However, it is explained that failure to display a work is not infringement of rights conferred by Section 57, in recognition/acceptance of, that what cannot be viewed, seen, heard or felt, cannot be imperfect and cannot affect the honour or reputation of the author.”

While discussing this case, the HC also talked about Section 2(b), (c) and (d), Section 13(1) (d), Section 13 (5) and Section 14(c) along with Section 56 and 59 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

While concluding, the court held that, “I thus do not find any right in the plaintiff as architect of the building/structure, to, under Section 57 of the Copyright Act, object to the demolition of the work or to claim any damages for such demolition.”

Keeping in view the above points, the court dismissed the above petition.

Read judgment Here.

India Legal Bureau

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