Mumbai News

Bombay HC orders public notice for copyright to translate Mira Behn’s autobiography – India Today

After a man approached the Bombay High Court seeking the license to translate Mira Behn’s autobiography to Marathi, the court ordered the copyright body to issue a public notice so any person concerned can charge a royalty fee.

Mumbai,UPDATED: Nov 4, 2022 06:02 IST

Bombay High Court

The man approached the Bombay High Court seeking the license to translate the autobiography of Mira Behn into Marathi. (File photo)

By Vidya : The Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered the Registrar of Copyrights to issue a public notice with regards to the licence to translate and publish the literary work of Mahatma Gandhi’s disciple Madeleine Slade, who was also known as Mira Behn. Her book, ‘The Spirit’s Pilgrimage’ is to be translated from English to Marathi.

Justice Manish Pitale passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Mumbai resident Anil Karkhanis seeking the licence to translate the book into Marathi. The plea said the conditions to grant the licence under Section 32 of the Copyright Act have been satisfied since the book was published in India in 1960.


According to this section, any person may apply to the Copyright Board for a licence to produce and publish a translation of a literary work in any language after a period of seven years from the first publication of the work.

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Advocate Amit Jamsandekar appearing for Karkhanis said that all three criteria under Section 32 for the grant of such a licence have been fulfilled. The criteria for the licence says the work should have been published in India, a petition should be filed in the prescribed format and it should have been published more than seven years prior to the petition being filed.

Karkhanis also submitted that he was willing to pay a royalty fee to the person entitled to such royalty under the provisions of the Act. He said he also found an abridged version of the work that was translated by one Ranga Marathe and was published by Kirloskar Press. However, none of the original publishers could be traced for Karkhanis to pursue the matter and it is only under such circumstances that he was compelled to approach the high court.

Justice Pitale directed the Registrar of Copyrights to publish a notice to say that “any person claiming any interest in the copyright of the work may, within one hundred and twenty days from the date of this publication, file an application, in writing, with adequate evidence. No further time will be granted after the expiry of 120 days of Public Notice.”

With this, the bench kept the plea for further hearing on February 15, 2023.

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