Copyright Board has no power to pass interim order for complaint under Sec 31 Copyright Act: SC

The Supreme Court of India ruled that Copyright Board cannot pass an interim order in the pending complaint under Section 31 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

Section 31 deals with the Compulsory Licence in works withheld from public by the owner of the copyright in the work.

The Court said “To grant an interim compulsory licence during the stay of the proceedings would amount to granting the final relief at the interim stage, although the power to grant such relief has not been vested in the Board.”

The Court also observed “It is no doubt true, that Tribunals discharging quasi-judicial functions and having the trappings of a Court, are generally considered to be vested with incidental and ancillary powers to discharge their functions, but that cannot surely mean that in the absence of any provision to the contrary, such Tribunal would have the power to grant at the interim stage the final relief which it could grant.”

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