By S. S. Selvanayagam
A large stock of counterfeit Nataraj stationery items were seized from two shops in Pettah by a team of officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
This action was initiated on a complaint made by Hindustan Pencils Limited, India of 510, Himalaya House, 79, Palton Road, Mumbai 400 001, India, through their lawyers Sudath Perera Associates.
The Nataraj brand is a popular product in the stationery market in Sri Lanka, since the range of products available are of premium quality. According to a representative of the company, the ever-popular Nataraj pencil is extremely child-friendly, easy to sharpen, imparts maximum strength to the point, ensures smooth writing and is made of quality wood.
The CID team was able to seize a large quantity of counterfeit Nataraj stationery including pencil packs and boxes of sharpeners. The counterfeit Nataraj items seized at the raid were of inferior quality and the edges were rough and unsafe for use.
The abundance of the counterfeit product in the market is a grave concern and the authorities should ensure that the perpetrators are penalised adequately, especially since the majority of users of the pencils, sharpeners and stationery items are children between the ages of three to nine.
The owners of the shops selling the counterfeit items were arrested and released on bail. The case will be called on 17 December 2010. Court permitted the CID to keep the seized goods in its custody. The CID is conducting further investigations.
The raid was successfully conducted under the supervision of Director CID M.K.D.W. Amarasinghe.
The sale of counterfeit goods is an infringement under the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003. Under the said act, if a person and/or persons are convicted, a fine up to Rs. 500,000 and up to six months imprisonment or both may be imposed.
Legal Counsel for Nataraj in Sri Lanka, Sudath Perera of Sudath Perera Associates, expressed its gratitude to the law enforcement authorities for their continued support and made a special mention of the cooperation and assistance extended by Amarasinghe and his team.