Star India Private Limited v. MHDTV.World & Ors
In the High Court of Delhi
CS (Comm) 567/2022 and IA 13067/2022
Before Justice Prathiba M. Singh
Decided on November 09, 2022
Relevancy of the Case: Disclosure of domain ownership details by domain name registrars (DNRs) in a case involving the infringement of the plaintiff’s exclusive rights
Statutes and Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (Rule 3(2))
Relevant Facts of the Case
- In a previous order, the High Court granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction to restrain the infringement of the plaintiff’s exclusive rights in the Asia Cricket Cup matches and associated content.
- The court had ordered the Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) to disclose the details of the impugned domain names. These domains were going to be blocked by the MEITY and DOT.
- Five of the DNRs did not comply with the court’s order. The plaintiff sent emails demanding compliance with the court’s order. One of the DNRs, NameCheap Inc., a US-based company, responded that the court’s jurisdiction is not relevant.
- MEITY directed the blocking orders; however, it was up to the DNRs to follow the disclosure and suspension orders’ requirements.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The plaintiff’s counsel submitted that DNRs have not complied with the order, making it ineffective.
Opinion of the Bench
- All DNRs must abide by and give effect to orders passed by competent courts or government authorities, as the case may be.
- DNRs must comply with the IT Rules, 2021 and appoint a grievance officer to ensure proper compliance with the court’s orders.
- DNRs must abide by the ICANN agreement, which clearly states that a DNR has to comply with applicable laws and court orders.
- The court granted MEITY and DOT one week to take action against the DNRs for their non-compliance. The court also directed these authorities to investigate the continuity of the business of these DNRs if they do not comply with court orders and Indian laws.