This decision is an important contribution to the scarce jurisprudence with respect moral rights in Indian copyright law. The present case and Amar Nath Sehgal case is a study in paradox. In the present case, ITPO's right to property being a constitutional right prevailed over Rewal's statutory right under the Act. Relying upon the explanation under Section 57(1) of the Act read along with Section 52(1)(x), the Court restricted the scope of moral rights to exclude demolition.
While, the Court empathised with Rewal and other artists like him and observed that Union of India and ITPO did owe a duty to Rewal to inform him about the proposed demolition of the Hall, explain their reasons to him and give him an opportunity to do whatsoever he desired with the Hall before demolishing the same, the Court rejected Rewal's claim that moral rights under Section 57 were abrogated by the destruction of the Hall. The Court observed that, in case Rewal is allowed to thwart the destruction of the Hall then it would amount to a restriction of ITPO's right to deal freely with their property and the land. The Court also explored the constitutional angle and held that while Rewal's rights in the artistic work was purely statutory in nature under the Act, the right to property was a constitutional right under Article 300A of the Constitution of India, which in any case must prevail over statutory rights. The Court further held that author's rights to prevent distortion, mutilation or modification of their work under Section 57 does not permit an author to prevent the destruction of a work in its entirety. To support its position, the Court also relied on the explanation under Section 57(1) of the Act that the failure to display a work is not infringement of rights conferred by Section 57, in recognition/acceptance of, that what cannot be viewed, seen, or heard cannot be imperfect and consequently cannot affect the honour or reputation of the author/architect.
The Court also relied upon Section 52(1)(x) of the Act, which provides for an exception to copyright infringement that the reconstruction of a building or structure in accordance with the architectural drawings to which the building was originally constructed. The Court reasoned that if destruction/demolition is prohibited under Section 57(1)(b) of the Act, then that would render Section 52(1)(x) of the Act inoperative. The Court further reasoned that the requirements of urban planning as well as technical or economic reasons far outweigh the moral rights of an architect and therefore the owner of the building has full power to dispose of/destroy the building. The Court therefore dismissed the suit on the grounds that Rewal had no cause of action against the demolition of the Hall.