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Naga women's body files civil suit against designer Ritu Beri & Trifed for 'GI tag infringement'

The Naga women's body has claimed damages for "wrongful and illegal action for infringement of registered GI."

ritu beri

File Image: Ritu Beri

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 Sep 2020 6:43 AM GMT

Phek: The Chakhesang Women Welfare Society (CWWS) has filed a civil suit against ace fashion designer Ritu Beri and the Tribal Co-Operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED) Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, in the Court of District Judge, Phek. The Naga women's body has claimed damages for "wrongful and illegal action for infringement of registered GI."

In February of this year, Beri had had reportedly organized a fashion show in association with Tribes India and Suraj Kund authorities at the Suraj Kund Crafts Mela in Haryana, where the Chakhesang shawls were "allegedly misrepresented."

A press release issued by the CWWS on September 22 informed that the defendants -- Beri and TRIFED -- have been summoned by the Court of District Judge, Phek, Nagaland on September 7, "with a month's time to be filed for written statements."

In its suit, the CWWS highlighted a news item published in a local daily dated February 9, 2020, where the Chakhesang traditional shawls were showcased during Suraj Kund crafts mela held on February 7, 2020 under the theme "Naturally North East: The Naga Narrative."

In the show, the shawls that were meant for men were worn by women, and vice versa -- a move which has been severely condemned by the CWWS.

The women's welfare society has claimed that the show has caused "irreparable damage/distorted the identity of the traditional shawls, which are GI registered, wherein the shawls were woven and designed with deep-rooted meanings since time immemorial."

"Chakhesang shawls have already been registered under GI and that without due approval and consent from registered proprietor the said shawls/patterns cannot be used by any individuals /designers/society/government etc," The CWWS said in a statement, condemning the use of the shawls.

The GI tag means that without due approval and consent from the registered proprietor, the said shawls/patterns cannot be used by any individual/designer/society/government, etc.

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