The Indian government has reportedly issued notices to Mukesh Ambani –led 4G telco Reliance Jio and Paytm have been issued notices asking if they had taken prior permission before using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph in their advertisements.
Three unnamed officials from the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution confirmed the move, the Economic Times reported on Saturday.
Both these firms can face penalties in the coming week, the report said, adding that the consumer affairs department in the ministry has advised he ministry of information and broadcasting to sensitise the media about the need to take prior permission before commercial usage of certain emblems and names prohibited by the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
While Paytm had earlier applauded PM Modi’s demonetisation decision urging people to switch to digital transactions, Reliance Jio had
Reliance Jio had used the prime minister’s photograph in full page advertisements and television commercials in September last year, following its commercial launch of operations. The advertisements resulted led to public interest litigation, and political debate.
Paytm, on the other hand, issued advertisements on November 9 featuring Prime Minister Modi’s photograph welcoming the demonetization move of the government. The company, through its advertisements, also urged public to start using its digital wallet service.
As per the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, “No person shall, except in such cases and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government, use, or continue to use, for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession, or in the title of any patent, or in any trade mark or design, any name or emblem specified in the Schedule or any imitation thereof without the previous permission of the Central Government or of such officer of Government as may be authorized in this behalf by the Central Government.