The Latin term ‘Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium’ means; where there is a right there is a remedy. In this context, there is a remedy when there is a breach of a courts order to stop a person from dishonoring the order of the court. One of the remedies available for an infringement of an Intellectual Property Right, be it trademarks, copyright, patent, or designs is that of an injunction. An injunction in simple terms would means the order of the court telling the person who is infringing to stop form doing the impugned act. Though an injunction is a remedy in itself, there needs to be another to protect the Plaintiff in case there is a breach of this order.

The remedies available for a breach of injunction are as under:

Order 39 Rule 2A of the Civil Procedure Code:

The CPC states that in consequence of disobedience of a breach of any injunction, or any of the terms on which the injunction was granted, or the Order made, the court which granted the order or any other court to which the suit is transferred may order the property of the person guilty of such disobedience the attached. In case of the continuation of the breach the property attached might be sold out and out of the proceeds the court may award such compensation as it thinks fit and pay the balance if any too the party entitled thereto. The court may also order such reason to be detained in a civil prison for a term not exceeding three months.

Order 21- Rule 32 of the Civil Procedure Code:           

Under this provision where any property has been attached and has remained in force for a month and the judgment debtor has not obeyed the decree and the decree holder has applied to have the property sold, such property maybe sold in the same way as mentioned above.

But where the judgment debtor has obeyed the decree and paid all costs of executing the same which he is bound to pay, or where, at the end of six months from the date of the attachment, no application to have the property sold has been made, or if made has been refused, the attachment shall cease.

 The court may also direct that the act required to be done may be done so far as practicable by the decree holder or some other person appointed by the court, at the cost of the judgment debtor, and the incidental costs may be recovered.

Under the Substantial law the Contempt of Court Act 1971 defines both Civil and Criminal Contempt.

Under this Act Civil Contempt is defined as willful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or willful breach of an undertaking given to a court.

Whereas Criminal Contempt would mean publication of any matter that scandalizes or tends to scandalize the authority of the court or interferes in the administration of justice.

Section 12 states that the punishment for civil contempt shall be a sentence of simple imprisonment, and that he de detained in a civil prison for such period not exceeding 6 months. This is only meted out when the court is satisfied that a fine would not meet the ends of justice.

Additionally, it is stated that when the person found guilty of contempt of court in respect of any undertaking given to a court is a company, every person who, at the time the contempt was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the contempt and the punishment may be enforced, with the leave of the court, by the detention in civil prison of each such person. Though if the person could prove that the breach was committed without his knowledge or that he had taken steps to prevent the breach. The person could be any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company S 12 (5).

Additionally, Section 13 states that no court shall impose a sentence under the Act for a contempt of court unless it is satisfied that the contempt is of such nature as to interfere or tend to interfere, substantially with the due course of justice. Section 20 states that no court shall initiate any proceedings of contempt after a period of one year has expired from the date of the breach.

Hence it can have been seen that the law does provide ample protection, and provides remedies for the breach of an order of the court. The act of contempt of court is more common than one would like believe, and it is prudent to keep a close eye for any breach that might be happening, with respect to an injunction passed in one’s favor.

This article has been authored by Shwetha, an IP Law practitioner.