Are offences under Section 63 of the Copyright Act & Section 103 of the Trade Marks Act Bailable or Non-Bailable?
In PiyushSubhashbhaiRanipa vs. The State of Maharashtra, which was decided on February 26, 2021, the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay has settled the law on whether offences under Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957, and Section 103 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, are bailable or non-bailable.
Section 63 of the Copyright Act relates to the offence of infringement of copyright or other rights conferred by the Act wherein if any person knowingly infringes or abets the infringement, such person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.
Section 103 of the Trade Marks Act relates to the offence of applying false trade marks, trade descriptions etc. wherein if any person:
(i) falsifies a trade mark or
(ii) falsely applies a trade mark to goods or services or
(iii) makes or has anything to do with any instrument for the purpose of falsifying a trade mark or
(iv) applies false trade description to goods or services or
(v) falsely indicates on the goods, the country or place of manufacturing, or the name or address of the manufacturer as required by Section 139 of the Act or
(vi) tampers with, alters or effaces any requirement given by Section 139,
such person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.
While on considering the objects of the Copyright Act and the Trade Marks Act, it appears that the offences under the said Acts are indeed bailable, the Hon’ble Court observed that it has to be decided in light of the definition of “bailable offence” provided by Cr.P.C. As in the present case, there exists the possibility of imposing imprisonment for exactly three years, it would fall under the category of Part II of the Schedule I of Cr.P.C. which provides that offences punishable with imprisonment for three years and upwards are non-bailable. Therefore it was settled by the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay that offences under Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957, and Section 103 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, are non-bailable.