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Delhi Eateries Clash In HC Over Origin Of Butter Chicken And Dal Makhani

Daryaganj and Moti Mahal clash over butter chicken's origin. Moti Mahal accuses Daryaganj of misleading; seeks restraint on claims. Legal battle ensues, with Daryaganj denying all the allegations. Next hearing set for May 29.

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Mar 27, 2024 10:54 IST
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Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken

Daryaganj restaurant chain has lodged a complaint with the Delhi High Court regarding purportedly defamatory statements attributed to the owners of Moti Mahal in an interview concerning the origin of ‘butter chicken’. The proprietors of Moti Mahal, who have initiated legal action asserting that their predecessor, the late Kundan Lal Gujral, created ‘butter chicken’ and ‘dal makhani’, while accusing Daryaganj of misleading the public about the origin of these dishes, have stated that the remarks in question were presented as an ‘editorial perspective’ and should not be directly attributed to them.

Justice Sanjeev Narula has directed the proprietors of Moti Mahal to provide an affidavit affirming their efforts to distance themselves from statements made in published articles. Daryaganj, in an application submitted as part of the lawsuit, has expressed concerns about the ‘defamatory’ remarks contained in an article initially published by the ‘Wall Street Journal’ and subsequently disseminated by other online platforms. It is alleged that these statements have significantly damaged the reputation of the restaurant and may bias fair adjudication of the lawsuit. Daryaganj asserts that immediate corrective action is necessary, calling on the opposing party to retract and remove the statements.

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Moti Mahal’s proprietors have petitioned to prohibit Daryaganj restaurant owners from asserting that their predecessor, Late Kundan Lal Jaggi, was the originator of the globally renowned dishes and from using the tagline ‘by the inventors of butter chicken and dal makhani’ on their website www.daryaganj.com and across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as in print and electronic media.

Previously, the high court had issued a summons to the owners of Daryaganj, instructing them to submit a written statement in response to the lawsuit.

In their lawsuit, the owners of Moti Mahal have asserted that their predecessor, Gujral, was the creator of the first tandoori chicken and subsequently introduced butter chicken and dal makhani to India after Partition.

The legal representatives for Daryaganj restaurants have strongly objected to the assertions made and argued that the lawsuit is unfounded, lacking in merit, and does not present a valid cause of action. They contend that there have been no instances of false representation or claims by the defendants, and the accusations outlined in the lawsuit are unsubstantiated.

The case is scheduled for its next hearing on May 29.

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First published on: Mar 27, 2024 10:54 AM IST

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