There could not have been a better timing to the climax of the ongoing legal battle between the Media Transasia (MT), publishers of Indian Airlines in-flight magazine Swagat and CMYK Multimedia which was awarded contract by the IA to bring out a new in-flight magazine for its subsidiary Alliance Airways.
A day before the launch of journalist Chandan Mitra promoted CMYK Multimedia's in-flight magazine Darpan on the Independence Day, Delhi High Court struck a big blow to MT by dismissing their petitions seeking to restrain IA from distributing a second in-flight publications on board Alliance Airways. The court has ruled that MT failed in establishing even prima-facie their right to injunct IA, Alliance Air and CMYK from printing or circulating the new in-flight magazine. The court ruling clearly stated that Swagat has no exclusive right for circulation on board IA flight adding that MT was trying to extend its rights without any lawful claim or jurisdiction. The judgement has vindicated CMYK's stand, which has been all through maintaining that there is no clause in the MT's agreement with IA that could keep them out. Infact CMYK had buttressed its stand saying it had won the contract on an open tender as a highest bidder.
For MT the judgement has come as a big jolt because Swagat has been contributing almost three fourth of its annual turnover of Rs 16 crores. And now it is left with little options except to brace up for the intense competition from CMYK Multimedia, the publisher of Pioneer newspaper, for what could be one of the bitterly fought battles for the big ad pie in the print media.