Microsoft Corp, which has been at the wrong end of several lawsuits in the US and Europe over its allegedly unethical and monopolistic business practices, may have now found its comeuppance in India as well.
Hearing a case by Microsoft against four different parties over alleged copyright violations, the Delhi high court has lambasted the software giant for using ''money power'' to ''harass'' the defendants, and ordered it to deposit Rs800,000 ($16,000) with the court for choosing to fight the case in Delhi.
The order came on Friday after the court found that the defendants who allegedly used pirated software were based in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Mumbai. Justice S N Dhingra noted that Microsoft had offices in these cities, but had used its money and influence to ensure that the defendants would have to travel to Delhi to fight the cases.
Another reason why Microsoft chose Delhi to fight the cases was that the Delhi High Court has the jurisdiction to order compensation of up to Rs20 lakh, which lower courts cannot do, the judge observed.
In its order, the high court said, "One cannot be given liberty to choose a court of his liking because of his money power. There should be one definite court where the suit can be filed by everybody, and one cannot hire the services of the court of his choice."
The court ordered that the amount of Rs80,000 will be kept with the registrar-general of the Delhi high court till the final disposal of the cases; and it will be given to the defendants if the cases are found to be false.