New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) faced High Court ire for deceptively co-branding station located opposite Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). HC has directed DMRC to put a disclaimer notice for Delhi Metro station named FIIT-JEE. This comes as the coaching institute is not connected to IIT any which way.
DMRC was pulled by HC for maligning IIT’s name as it does not promote any coaching class.
HC was hearing a complaint filed by IIT against DMRC and sough direction on not using its name in conjunction with that of FIIT-JEE. The station situated opposite IIT premise bears the name FIIT-JEE which tarnishes the image of foremost engineering institute of the country.
Disposing the petition,Justice Vibhu Bakhru has asked DMRC to put a disclaimer indicating that FIIT-JEE is no way associated with IIT. The HC also directed that the font as well as size of the disclaimer be similar to those used in FIIT-JEE.
During the hearing DMRC was also asked as to why a disclaimer was not issued while inviting tender. The counsel representing DMRC replied that they had given the rights to an advertising firm while invited tenders for the same.
The court rebuked DMRC, stating, “Don’t you have control over co-branding or control over the name to be put on your station board?”
The counsel representing IIT also told the court that if DMRC wanted to IIT’s name to brand its station, it should have consulted the institute before naming the station.
DMRC counsel has agreed to the disclaimer and that they will follow HC’s directives with regards to font and size suggested by the court.
On the hand the counsel of FIIT-JEE wanted to file its response to the complaint and asked court’s permission during the hearing. The court denied the permission and stated that the coaching institute is not at fault as it participated in the tender bid and won the contract.
HC also made it clear that it was not barring IIT from taking further action with regards to trade infringement. The order further stated that it will also not prevent FIIT-JEE from initiating any action.
IIT in its plea had stated that the co-branding was misleading people with many thinking that the institute had partnered with them. IIT officials shared that they have been receiving queries from aspirants, parents and alumni post naming the station as FIIT-JEE.
Since 2014 Delhi Metro has been auctioning the naming rights of a number of its stations as means to generate revenues.
Post the naming controversy, FIIT-JEE has put up a disclaimer stating ‘FIITJEE is in no way connected with any IIT’.
V Ramagopal Rao, IIT Director has articulated While addressing the press he stated that the institute is not satisfied with the disclaimer. He made it clear that IIT- Delhi does not want any association with a private coaching institute. He said the institute does not want to partner with a private coaching class to facilitate their commercial interests.