MOMENTS AFTER the Mukul Roy press conference, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s lawyer threatened to take legal action against the BJP leader for “defying the judiciary”. The Diamond Harbour MP’s lawyer, Sanjay Basu, said: “This is no longer a case of Mukul Roy defaming Abhishek Banerjee, but Mukul Roy defying the judiciary. This is blatant disregard for the legal system and especially the order of the court. This is a matter of very serious concern.”
“Also, everyday, he is changing his stand. Smells of frustration. We will take appropriate legal action,” he told The Sunday Express. Basu was referring to Roy, who with his press conference, allegedly violated a Alipurduar court’s interim injunction order, stopping him from making any further statements linking Abhishek to government-owned Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation and Jago Bangla Media Private Limited, which publishes the Trinamool mouthpiece.
While speaking to mediapersons, Roy referred to an affidavit, submitted to the Alipurduar court by Abhishek, where he had allegedly stated that he had applied for trademarks of both Biswa Bangla and Jago Bangla at the behest of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The petition (accessed by The Sunday Express), filed by Abhishek in court on November 17 against Roy, begins by saying that “Mamata Banerjee had painted two logos as well as authored two words which would qualify as trade mark within the meaning of Trademarks Act-1999”.
“With the approval of Mamata Banerjee, the petitioner had in 2013, applied for registration of these trademarks both in different classes to protect the same from being misused or copied. At that time, it was not decided as to how these trademarks would in fact be utilised,” it added. Pointing out that the registration was done to “protect the logos from misuse”, the petition said: “It was intended that the trademarks Biswa Bangla and Bishwa Bangla and their different versions would be used by entities, which would be eventual owners of these trademarks and such entities would be for promotion of West Bengal. Accordingly, Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation Ltd was incorporated on 31st December, 2014.”
It added that while West Bengal State Export Promotion Society owns 99.98 per cent of Biswa Bangla, two individuals — Rajiv Sinha and Mahua Banerjee — own 0.01 per cent each.
The petition claimed that the corporation was set up to “promote and advance West Bengal… to carry on the business of a full service marketing company and/or supply chain management company for various traditional and famous products related to or associated with the state… preferably sourced from the state with emphasis on development of market for traditional artisans…”
On the other hand, Jago Bangla is a company under the control of the office-bearers/members of Trinamool, the petition said, adding that it is not a profit-making concern and publishes a newspapers and periodicals. It registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India, in favour of Trinamool. “Jago Bangla Media Pvt Ltd was incorporated on 28th September, 2010. The petitioner is neither a shareholder nor a director in the company,” Abhishek’s petition stated.
In his petition, Abhishek has claimed that he had “never applied for registration of the trademarks with the object of deriving any personal gain”.
“That was also not the reason why Mamata Banerjee had permitted the petitioner to have the marks registered in his name. The intention was to have the application for registration made in the petitioner’s name till such time a state-owned institution/corporation is identified to use the trademarks for the benefit of the state,” it added.
On Jago Bangla, Abhishek said: “…The petitioner is the proprietor of the trademark which is used by Jago Bangla Media Pvt Ltd with the permission of the petitioner. The petitioner has never received nor intends to receive any royalty or financial benefit in any form whatsoever…”
Countering Roy’s accusations of having made a profit from the recently held Under-17 FIFA World Cup, Abhishek said in the petition: “The recent crowning glory for the state… has been the FIFA World Cup Under 17 Football Tournament. Kolkata was the host city. The petitioner on inquiry states that this mega event was sponsored by, inter-alia, Adidas, Coco Cola, Wanda Group, Gazprom, Hyundai, Qatar Airways, Visa, Bank of Baroda, Byju’s, Coal India, Dalmia Cement, Hero Motor Corp, and NTPC. The event organiser was FIFA. The petitioner neither directly nor indirectly, has received nor derived any benefit from the said tournament.’’