Lawyer brings liquor bottles to court, judges speechless | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Lawyer brings liquor bottles to court, judges speechless

For two judges of the Delhi High Court, a recent hearing turned into a never-to-be-forgotten experience when a lawyer brought two bottles of alcohol into the court.

delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2010 00:24 IST
Harish V Nair

If you thought that going to a court was a tedious task and that nothing interesting ever happens there, you are wrong. Sometimes, some of the most bizarre things can take place in court. While some of them may have happened earlier, there’s always a first time for other things.

For two judges of the Delhi High Court, a recent hearing turned into a never-to-be-forgotten experience when a lawyer brought two bottles of alcohol into the court.

Understandably enough, the reaction of the two judges —Acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta—was that of shock.

It was clear that they haven’t witnessed such a thing in their respective judicial careers spanning 33 and 26 years.

The court was hearing a dispute between the Goan and the French whisky companies over copyright of labels. The lawyer representing Pernod Ricard, a French liquor company, carried two full bottles of whisky inside the courtroom and raised it before the Bench.

He was trying to show how Goan whisky company Real House Distillery had “copied their label” to cash in on their popularity.

Ricard manufactures brands like Chivas Regal, Ballantines, 100 Pipers and Havana Club.

When the lawyer took out the bottles, Justice Lokur’s was left surprised. Justice Gupta shut her eyes with her right hand.

“What is this? You are not supposed to bring alcohol into the court,” said Justice Lokur. Justice Gupta added: “How were you allowed to bring it in? Keep it inside. We want to see the labels, not the liquid.”

The lawyer complied and the hearing continued as usual. But there’s more to it. Hearing the case, Justice Lokur commented in a lighter vein, “You are also making whisky and the other side is also making whisky. Both make people drunk. Then why fight over labels?” This raised peels of laughter in the courtroom.

Real had filed an appeal against a single judge’s order asking them to change the colour of their label from dark navy blue to some other colour.

The Division Bench ruled in favour of the Goan company saying it did not find any similarity between the two labels except the fact that they were both dark navy blue colour.

The Bench said it was “difficult to imagine” that the French company had a copyright over the use of navy blue colour on the labels of all alcoholic beverages.