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Suresh Prabhu inaugurates 3rd International Leadership Summit Authentication Forum in Delhi

Incident of counterfeit cases in India have increased by nearly 15 per cent in 2019. Currency, Liquor, FMCG (F&B) and pharma top the charts for counterfeit incidents reported, suggests a survey by ASPA

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Former Union Minster Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu recently inaugurated the third edition of The Authentication Forum in Delhi organised by Authentication Solutions Providers’ Association (ASPA) and Messe Frankfurt India.

ASPA is the world’s first and only self-regulated non-profit organisation that represents the entire physical and digital authentication solutions industry globally. The association has taken on the task of nurturing the anti-counterfeiting ecosystem by sensitising consumers, brands and policymakers towards the menace of counterfeiting and creating awareness around the solutions.

In his address, Prabhu, India’s Sherpa to G7 and G20, said,” I am happy to attend this forum and see the commitment of the industry towards fighting counterfeiting. This ‘authentic’ authentication forum is an assurance to the customer that his interest is protected and quality which is promised will be delivered. Customer is the king, and if s/he does not get the service or product of the promised quality, then we have a problem, and we must find the best possible solution for this problem. We need to protect the customer’s interest and assure him of delivering the quality that he is paying. Technology is the one solution to resove this problem. It can address the problem in a better way than before. We need to create a strong informed choice for customers and the government needs to play a crucial role in this — from creating standards, guidelines to implementation, enforcement and awareness. It is important to engage with customers, government and other stakeholders and this platform brings everyone on the same platform.”

Justice Manmohan Sarin, Former Lokayukta, NCT of Delhi, Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Judge, High Court of Delhi gave his keynote address on the critical aspect Role of Judiciary in Combating Counterfeiting, said, “It is recognised that counterfeiting, smuggling and illicit trade have reached humongous levels in 2016. Trade in counterfeit and pirated products amounted to as much as $509 billion as per a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Counterfeiting results in loss of jobs curtail the growth of industries, the potential of creating havoc in healthcare systems by spurious drugs which can result in loss of human lives. Socio-Economic crimes like counterfeiting, infringement of trademark, copyright i.e. IP cases deserve to be dealt on priority and with the expedition. There is a need for judicial sensitivity and a proactive approach to prevent recurrence and the decisions to act as deterrents. Partly, this has been achieved by imposing punitive damages and costs which would pinch the offender. There is also a need for imparting training to all the stakeholders, prosecutors, enforcement agencies and members of the judiciary in this field which requires specialised knowledge. Judiciary is taking the centre stage in various issues of public interest and should play a pro-active role in this regard too. In many cases, we need to bring in judge-made law to fill in the vacuum to