Johnson Gilbert v. Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Johnson Gilbert v. Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society

Johnson Gilbert v. Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society
 2019 Cri LJ 2203
In the High Court of Kerala
Crl. M.C. 5397/2018
Before Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V.
Decided on March 14, 2019

Relevancy of the case: Quashing of a criminal case filed for selling online tickets for a state-funded boat race event in Alleppey

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 71)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Sections 463, 465, 468)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • In August every year, people from all over the world flock to Alleppey to witness the Nehru Trophy Boat Race held at the Punnamda Lake. The petitioners were engaged in the homestay and houseboat business.
  • They would anchor their houseboat at the shore from where the tourists could witness the race.
  • The petitioners also made a website, where they sold tickets and invited tourists to view the race from their houseboat.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioners’ counsel contended that the petitioners had not depicted false documents with intent to cause damage or commit any fraud.
  • The petitioners’ counsel also argued that Section 71 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 had no application as there was no license in question.
  • The Public Prosecutor submitted that the petitioners cannot sell the tickets for the Nehru Trophy Boat Race as it is the monopoly of the State.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The Bench believed that the tickets sold by the petitioners would not allow the tourists to view the race from the pavilions.
  • The Court also formed an opinion that there are no regulations that state that only the State can sell the boat race tickers.

 Final Decision

  • The petition stood allowed.
  • The court terminated any further criminal proceedings.

This case summary has been prepared by Anushka Ojha, an undergraduate student at Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2021.