New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that Chennai did not seem to be a "suitable place" administratively to have the Principal Bench of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) as nobody wanted to go there.
The top court, meanwhile, asked Attorney General K K Venugopal and senior advocate Arvind Datar to sit together and suggest names of judges who can be considered for appointment as the chairperson of IPAB which deals with trademark and patent disputes.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant suggested that either the principal bench of IPAB at Chennai be relocated to a central place in the country such as Nagpur, Jabalpur and Bhopal or a new bench be set at these places.
Venugopal did not agree with the bench's suggestion and said, "Tamil Nadu also needs some kind of constitutional institution like IPAB" and a former Madras High Court judge may be considered for the appointment.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the International Association for Protection of Intellectual Property (India Group).
The group said that the topmost tribunal on intellectual rights needed a regular chairperson and expert members to deal with disputes.
"Why do you not shift to central places like Jabalpur and Nagpur... Chennai does not seem to be the suitable place, adminstration point of view, to have it (IAPB)," the bench said.
However, it later asked Venugopal and Datar to suggest within two weeks names of former judges who can be considered for appointment as the chairperson of the IPAB.
Earlier, the top court had said that the post of chairperson of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) "cannot be allowed to be vacant".
"The appointment process of the new chairman of the said board according to law is likely to be complete soon. In the meantime, however, we consider it appropriate to direct that the last incumbent viz., Justice (Retd) Manmohan Singh, be allowed to continue as chairman of IPAB for a period of one year after he attains the age of superannuation as there is no break in service," it had ordered.
It had also asked Venugopal to obtain instructions from the central government department concerned about "relocation of the principal bench of Madras or location of a new bench to a central place in the country such as Nagpur, Jabalpur, Bhopal, etc."