NET News Desk
Renowned fashion designer Ritu Beri and the Tribal Co-Operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED) under the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs have been summoned by the Court of District Judge, Phek, Nagaland on September 7. This came after a civil suit was filed by the Chakhesang Women Welfare Society (CWWS) for causing damage to the GI registered Chakhesang shawls by showcasing them during Suraj Kund Craft Mela held on February 7 this year.
As per a press release issued by the CWWS it has claimed “damages for wrongful and illegal action for infringement of registered GI.”
Earlier on February 7, at the Suraj Kund Crafts Mela in Haryana, Beri had reportedly organised a fashion show in association with Tribes India and Suraj Kund authorities.
In the show themed ‘Naturally North-East: The Naga Narrative’ curated by Beri, the Chakhesang shawls were allegedly misrepresented, prompting the CWWS to issue a condemnation against the same on February 20, the Society said.
The Society further added, “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”.
The women’s body said that the show has caused “irreparable damage” and has “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.
As per reports, the two shawls in question- ‘Rira’ and ‘Rura have been a part of the Naga culture for a long time. While Rira is a men’s shawl, the latter is worn by women.
The court has issued summoned to Defendants Beri, and the TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India giving them a months’ time to be filed for written statements.