Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio might be fined Rs 500 as penalty for using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph in its print and electronic advertisements without consent. The law that overlooks at the prevention of improper use of emblems and names of 1950 provides for this undistinguished penalisation for offending laws.
In a report published by Times of India, the minister of state for information and broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had written a reply to the company stating that no permission was granted by Prime Minister’s Office for using Modi’s photographs in the advertisements. However, Reliance Jio did not comment on aforementioned development.
When the issue was raised by Samajwadi Party MP Neeraj Shekhar, Rathore admitted on the fact that the government was aware that the telecom company has used PM’s photographs in the advertisement.
Some serious allegations were made by the opposition stating that how can PM’s photograph be used by a private organisation to advertise its products or services. Extending the allegations, the opposition also pointed out another same incident where the eWallet firm Paytm used PM’s photograph post the demonetisation announcement made by the central government.
Shekhar had also expressed his interest to know whether there is any law allows the PM from becoming a brand ambassador of a private company and whether PMO has taken any step against the company, if norms have been violated, informed TOI.
Responding to opposition’s allegations Rathore said that the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act is handled by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
However, as per ministry officials there were no complaints received regarding such misuse. We will take necessary steps since there is a violation of the law, said an official.