Tirupati Laddu- GI grant questioned-Is it truly a GI Protection anyway?
In this entire process we hope that the Court may take this opportunity to clarify the position of law on whether a single entity can get a GI protection over a commodity as seems to be the case here.
A perusal of the GI journal No. 28 pg. 42 will show that the geographical area of production has been described as “Sri Vari Temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala Hills, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.” The application seems to indicate that TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam) is the sole beneficiary involved in the GI application. In my view, and without any disrespect to the sanctity attached with the Tirupati Laddu, the very spirit of GI protection lies in it being a community right. The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 under section 11 read with rule 32 (6) of the The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002 highlights that while applying for a GI the applicant has to show that it represents the interest of association of persons or producers thereby making it a community right.
We assume that there shall be a stay on the proceedings in the Madras High Court in light of the pending petition in the Supreme Court. Anyway it will be interesting to note if the Courts touch the GI issue here.