In a trademark infringement suit against a website selling Ram Mandir Prasad under the Khadi Organic mark, the Delhi High Court ordered the suspension of a website "".

The Court observed that the Khadi And Village Industries Commission had successfully presented a prima facie case. Without the grant of an ex-parte interim injunction, the Commission would suffer irreparable losses, and the balance of convenience favoured the Commission over the website.

The Bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula observed, “it appears that Defendants No. 1 and 2 are attempting to monopolise the consecration event by preying on the public’s religious beliefs and devotion and deceiving them into transferring money to Defendants No. 1 and 2, using the Plaintiff’s goodwill”.

Advocates Shwetasree Majumder appeared for the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956, owns the registered trademark "KHADI." Recently, the Plaintiff experienced significant growth in personal care products under the KHADI marks, with an impressive turnover in the financial year 2023. The exclusive association of the KHADI marks with the Plaintiff necessitates authorization for their use under specific regulations.

In January 2024, Plaintiff discovered Defendants No. 1 and 2 promoting the brand "KHADI ORGANIC" on the website "," offering free prasad from the Pran Pratishta ceremony at the Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Defendants are accused of misappropriating the KHADI marks, claiming to be the official website for Ayodhya Ram Mandir Prasad sales, causing confusion and false impressions regarding their affiliation with the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.

Concerns about the legitimacy of the free Prasad service have arisen, with some customers labelling it as a scam. The Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have no right to use their registered KHADI marks for such activities. Defendant No. 2 filed a trademark application for "KHADI ORGANIC," claiming use since November 15, 2023. The Plaintiff also highlights previous legal actions resulting in the transfer of the domain name "" to them. As a response to these infringements, the Plaintiffs have approached the High Court, seeking redress for trademark infringement.

The Court, in an order dated January 18, 2024, formed a preliminary opinion that the marks "KHADI ORGANIC" used by Defendants No. 1 and 2 are deceptively similar to the Plaintiff's registered KHADI mark, with the latter being fully incorporated in the impugned marks. The Court had noted that Defendants No. 1 and 2 may be attempting to monopolize the consecration event by exploiting public religious beliefs, deceiving them into transferring money under the guise of the Plaintiff's goodwill.

The Court noted that the Plaintiff placed an order for merchandise from the impugned website, but the items have not been received. The annexed links to videos from disgruntled consumers suggest that Defendants No. 1 and 2 have falsely obtained money from the public without providing confirmation or proof of dispatch. Given these circumstances, the Court was convinced that the Plaintiff had demonstrated a prima facie case in their favour. Failure to grant an ex-parte interim injunction would result in irreparable loss to Plaintiff, and the balance of convenience favours the Plaintiff over Defendants No. 1 and 2.

As a result, the Court issued the following directions until the next hearing date:

Defendants No. 1 and 2 and any person acting on their behalf are restrained from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, exporting, advertising, directly or indirectly, any kind of goods and/or services under the marks “KHADI ORGANIC”, “ ” or mark identical or deceptively similar to Plaintiff’s registered KHADI marks, which would amount to infringement or passing off of the Plaintiff’s KHADI marks.

Defendant No. 3 shall suspend the operation of the domain name/ website “” registered by them and shall also maintain status quo with regards to the ownership of the said domain name.

Defendants No. 1 and 2 shall takedown their social media pages mentioned in paragraph No. 25 of the application and/or any other pages active on social media platforms that use any mark identical or deceptively similar to Plaintiff’s registered KHADI marks”.

The Plaintiff later approached the Court seeking permission to submit specific video recordings related to the subject matter of the ongoing lawsuit, as detailed in Paragraph No. 3 of the application.

The Court, in an order dated January 19 2024, noted that per Rule 24 of Chapter XI of the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018, electronic records, including video recordings, in CD/DVD/Medium format if encrypted with a hash value. The Court directed compliance with Order XXXIX Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 within five days.

Therefore, the Court instructed the Registry to receive the electronic record on a CD-ROM, provided it is encrypted with a hash value or in any other non-editable format. The video recording on the CD-ROM is to be included in the electronic record of the ongoing suit, ensuring it is in a non-editable format for the Court's viewing during the hearings.

Accordingly, the Court listed the matter for May 27, 2024.

Cause Title: Khadi And Village Industries Commission v Ashish Singh And Ors

Appearance for Plaintiff: Advocates Diva Arora Menon, Devyani Nath, Aiswarya Debadarshini and Shiv Mehrotra.

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