Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on a woman entrepreneur and her husband for allegedly attempting to misuse the gender protection laws. The woman proprietor of Haryana-based Feel Good India company, Neha Gandhir, had threatened to register a fake molestation case against a court receiver after her company was involved in a trademark infringement issue with a Mumbai-based Sapat Company.

In a court observation on the issue, Justice S Kathawalla was quoted by The Times of India as saying, “Such gross and patent misuse of a socially enabling piece of legislation has to be sternly condemned by the courts and dealt with a very stern hand.” Since Gandhir happens to be a budding entrepreneur with two children, her lawyers had allegedly sought leniency in the case.

Gandhir further admitted that she snatched photographic equipment from the court receiver “in a fit of rage”, and had threatened him and the Sapat company representatives. The incident occurred on January 4 when the court receiver, along with the representatives of Sapat, attempted to video-record the seizing of goods from Feel Good’s factory. As per reports, Gandhir claimed that she had used the word ‘molestation’ out of apprehension and did not intend to mean it.

Refusing to hear any further explanation, a high court judge reportedly said that leaving a case of abhorrent behaviour unpunished would send a wrong message to the public. He added that since the woman had grossly abused the law, no attempts to justify her conduct would be taken into consideration.

Feel Good company had infringed the trademark name of Sapat’s cough syrup. A case was filed against Feel Good by Sapat earlier. Thereafter, on December 21, 2018, the high court had appointed a court receiver to seize the goods from Feel Good company’s factories.