Follow Orders If You Want To Do Business In India: Delhi High Court To Domain Name Registrars

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The Delhi High Court on Friday cautioned domain name registrars (DNRs) against non-compliance of judicial orders and said if they want to do business in India, then they should follow its directions on taking action against those indulging in illegal activities online, or run the risk of being “blocked” by MEITY.
A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan said DNRs cannot “become instrument of syndicating scams” and called upon them to “remain vigilant” in the face of misuse of known trademarks to register websites to carry out illegal and fraudulent activities.

“If you have to do business in India, we will lay guidelines and you have to comply. We will lay down a mechanism.. These (DNRs) people have to comply. We can’t allow millions to be cheated. Some serious matter is going on here,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna.

The court observed that there was a huge magnitude of business in the country for DNRs who cannot be allowed to become “scam units”.

“We can’t change the international system but if you operate in India,we will ask you to follow certain (norms).. We will tell MEITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) to block the DNR if you don’t comply,” it said.

The court’s observations came while dealing with a case initiated by it on its own in relation to the issue of misuse of trademark of several entities through fraudulent websites and the role of DNRs in such situations.

The court said that filing of repeated cases by aggrieved parties, whose trademarks are illegally used by offenders for registering their websites, has to stop and the DNRs should look into preventing registration of such offending domains in the first instance.

The court made GoDaddy and the Ministry of Home Affairs parties to the proceedings and listed the matter for further hearing on January 9.

“You are a major player. You know when fraud is taking place,” the court told GoDadday’s counsel, adding that the entity should “think about” the concerns raised by it during the hearing in the “right perspective”.

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