Things Shall be Done as The Procedure Requires Within The Stipulated Time: SC

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Usually, the procedure provided in a statute which requires to do a specific act in a specific manner is taken as just a formality and it is done in a very careless and delinquent manner. This happens in often times in limitation matters where a statute requires a things to be done a particular manner in a specific period of time and not beyond that. People take it lightly.

The Supreme Court in its recent judgment, Civil Petition No.1496-K of 2021, while elucidating the timeline for filling opposition application in Trade Mark Registration Cases under Rule 76 of the Revised Trade Mark Rules, 1963 ย has deprecated this attitude by dismissing the petition for leave to appeal, holding that the Rule is very must clear and it does not empower the Registrar to grant extensions without satisfying himself. The Court has also defined the word “satisfaction” to mean that “existence of mental persuasion much higher than mere opinion; a mind not troubled by doubt; ‘a mind which has reached a clear conclusion.”ย Thus the Registrar was not mandated to grant extensions for filing opposition.

The Court has further rules that sometimes a provision seems to be mandatory but in fact it is directory after taking the statute into account as a whole, and sometimes a provision is seems to be directoryย  but it is in fact mandatory. So it is not the provision alone to be taken into account to decide whether it is mandatory or directory, rather it is the other connected provisions and the whole scheme of that provision and its nature to be analyzed before the declaring the provision either mandatory or directory.ย In the case in hand, it was mandatory for the Registrar to satisfy himself before granting extensions mechanically and automatically. The Registrar had not only done this in a mechanical way but he had also blatantly done this without adhering to the prescribe manner. The Court dismissing the CLPA at the end held that when a things is required to be done in a particular manner, it shall be done in that manner or it should not be done at all.

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