NEW DELHI: The owners of
restaurants have filed a suit in the
Delhi high court
over the use of the
Moti Mahal restaurants plaintiffs have claimed that their predecessor’s Late chef Kundal Lal Gujral has been known and acknowledged as the sole “
of Buttar Chicken and Dal Makhani” since the 1950s, adding that “Inventor of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani” tagline has always served as a brand identity attached to the Moti Mahal restaurants.
The suit claimed that
restaurant owners (also defendants) have falsely been using the tagline “Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani”. The plaintiffs accused the Daryaganj restaurant owners of misappropriating the business, goodwill and reputation of Moti Mahal.
In the suit, it has been alleged that Moti Mahal restaurant owners “misrepresented” to the general public by claiming that their predecessor Late Kundan Lal Jaggi invented Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani dishes as they falsely used the tagline “Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani”.
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing the plaintiffs, argued before the bench of justice Sanjeev Narula that the owners of the famous trademark “Moti Mahal” and related formative marks, used in relation to restaurants operating nationally and internationally since 1920.
He contended that the defendants (Daryaganj restaurant) are misleading the public into believing that their “Daryaganj” restaurants are connected with the plaintiffs’ predecessor’s first “Moti Mahal” restaurant in Daryaganj.
This misleading representation the defendants’ use of a picture of the plaintiffs’ predecessor, Kundan Lal Gujral, on their Facebook page, misrepresenting it as that of the defendants’ predecessor, (late) Kundan Lal Jaggi,” Sethi argued.
Counsel of the plaintiffs also highlighted the alleged manipulation of the photograph of the Moti Mahal Restaurant in Peshawar on their website, substantiating this claim with a comparison to the ‘original’ photograph shown on Plaintiffs’ own website.
The bench of justice Sanjeev Narula recently issued summons to the Daryaganj restaurant owner and other defendants and listed the matter before joint registrar on March 18, 2024.
Defendants say arguments ‘far from truth’
Amit Sibal, senior Counsel representing the Defendants, stated that the suit is misconceived, baseless and lacking a cause of action. Senior advocate Sibal and advocate Anand argued that the Defendants have not engaged in any false representation or claim, and the allegations made in the suit are far from the truth.
Regarding the screenshot extracted in paragraphs of the plaint, Adv Sibal clarified that the same is not from the Defendants’ Facebook page and evidently belongs to “A to Z Kitchen”, an entity unrelated to the defendants.
Regarding the photograph of the Moti Mahal restaurant in Peshawar, advocate Sibal explained that the said restaurant was established jointly by predecessors of both parties, thus invalidating any claims of exclusive rights over the image that the plaintiffs might claim.
Advocate Sibal also highlighted that the defendants are equally entitled to use this photograph.
He also emphasised that the photograph on the defendants’ website has been cropped to exclude the term “Moti Mahal”, rendering the plaintiff’s grievance unfounded.
(With ANI inputs)