Updated on: Monday, January 10, 2022, 09:41 PM IST

FPJ Legal: Court orders probe on fashion designer Umang Mehta's complaint in Mumbai of brand stealing designs with name ‘Bespokewala'

The designer Umang Mehta has a brand by the same name and has among his clients cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

Upon a Bandra magistrate’s order for the police to register an FIR and probe a complaint of a fashion designer that his designs were stolen and their copies advertised and sold by the owner of another brand, the Santacruz police station has registered an FIR.

The order was passed in end-November by the magistrate PB Yerlekar in which the magistrate said that prima facie a cognizable offence is made out and there is need of investigation by police.The designer Umang Mehta has a brand by the same name and has among his clients cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. He had complained that the brandname ‘Bespokewala’ of one Imran Shaikh, having its office at Goregaon, had placed an advertisement in a leading daily's supplement with a photo of his original creation while advertising its new store in Juhu. He said the model wearing his creation in the photo is one of international repute hired by him and the photo clicked in a photoshoot conducted at his expense. The 47-year-old said he had put in a great deal of time and resources in crafting the products and likewise a great amount of financial and personal resources in publicising them. The rights to the photos belong to him, he stated.

His complaint through Advocate Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh filed in Feb last year before the magistrate stated that it has come to his notice that Shaikh had stolen his original designs and had been using and benefitting from them. He said he made an anonymous call to the store asking for the exact product in the advertisement and its employee called him back and sent him many photos of different models wearing his original creations. One of the photos shared, he said, contained his brand's watermark. He said the employee said one of the products would cost Rs. 18,500.

The designer said Shaikh was cheating the general public with his original designs and causing him financial hardship. He is also making them believe that those were his own designs. His loyal clients have enquired with him, he said, whether the brand Bespokewala belongs to him. The designer said a doubt has been created in the minds of the general public as to who is the original creator of the designs. He sought that the court direct the police to register an FIR as he had approached it and they did not register his complaint.

On Dec 17, the Santacruz police station registered an FIR against Shaikh under sections 378 (theft), 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), under provisions of the IT Act and the Copyright Act among other offences.

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Published on: Monday, January 10, 2022, 09:41 PM IST