Bombay High Court restrains Navi Mumbai NGO from using ‘Awaaz’ in its name


In a major relief to Awaaz Foundation, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) that has been taking up issues pertaining to noise pollution and illegal sand mining in and around Mumbai and Konkan region, the Bombay high court has passed an injunction against an NGO in Navi Mumbai called Awaaj Foundation and restrained it from using the name Awaaj or similar sounding name as it tends to create confusion with the Awaaz Foundation, which is based in Mumbai.

Sumaira Abdulali, the convenor of Awaaz Foundation, had filed a commercial suit seeking directions to restrain the other NGO from using the name under the Trademark Act.

The court accepted the contentions of Abdulali who was being represented by Veerendra Tulzapurkar and passed an interim order refraining the Navi Mumbai NGO from using the name.

When asked about his absence, Rajiv Mishra, the defendant and convenor of the Navi Mumbai NGO, said that he was unaware of the date and in fact the case status on the court website did not display the date hence he was not able to attend the hearing of the suit.

“I will be challenging the interim order and seeking a hearing on the issue,” said Mr Mishra.

“I have not had the chance to place my say and hence the order is one-sided,” he further said.

In the last hearing on September 4, the court had directed Abdulali’s organisation to issue a 48 hours notice to the defendant about the next date.

Mishra, however, denied receiving the notice and hence his inability to attend the hearing on Monday.