Had Refused To Pick Up Tab For Court Receiver's Report
The Bombay high court has expressed “great surprise“ that a lawyer for US apparel giant Gap Inc had objected to pay Rs 3,000 ($45) towards cost of a court receiver's report in a two-decade-old trademark infringement suit.
Giving the Gap lawyer a slight rap, Justice Gautam slight rap, Justice Gautam Patel directed that the company pay the costs sought by the court receiver.“The amount is roughly the price of two cinema tickets in New York,“ said the judge.
The clothing major has a presence in 90 countries and posted net sales of $1.2 billion for its latest October quarter.
The suit, filed in 1995 by Gap Inc against Messrs Gap, was itself resolved and disposed of in January 2002 on consent terms, but the receiver appointed in 1996 to take possession of goods, including articles and papers bearing the allegedly infringed mark, had yet to be formally discharged. Last month, the receiver, an officer appointed by the court usually to take custody and manage a litigated property till a final decision is rendered, put up his claim for discharge on payment of his costs, charges and expenses of Rs 5,530.
Its lawyer in Mumbai, who se name the HC order passed la te last month recorded only as N Jain, instructed by law firm Wadia Ghandy & Co, said there was “no dispute“ and that the “company will pay these costs, charges and expenses“, but she complained about picking up the tab for the receiver's report.The costs incurred by a receiver are to be paid as per rules framed by the HC. The court receiver had thus prepared his claim of Rs 3,000 for the last report, seeking his discharge.
“I am very greatly surprised that she makes a grievance about the amount of Rs 3,000...“
said Justice Patel. “ Although Jain may not be aware of it, I am mindful of the order passed on October 6, ...where, too, a grievance was made about the costs and charges of the court receiver.'' In that case involving L&T Finance, a bench headed by Justice V M Kanade had “expressed its disapproval, in no uncertain terms“, of similar grievance for costs claimed by a recei ver. The costs there were “far more substantial“, observed Justice Patel. TOI found that it was a claim of around Rs 24,000, and the bench had dismissed a challenge raised by L&T Finance to the receiver's claim of 1% commission on the value of the property as permitted under the rules, after expressing its surprise that “the leading finance firm should make such grievance, that too after availing the services of the court receiver“. “Today , the grievance is about an amount even more trivial,“ said Justice Patel.