Following the use of the photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to advertise its brand electronically and through print, Reliance Jio might, reportedly, be facing a penalty, but just of an amount up to Rs 500.
According to a report by Times of India, Information and Broadcast Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had denied of any permission issued by the Prime Minister’s office (PMO), granting the use of the PM’s photograph in the telecom giant’s advertisement. However, Reliance Jio had not yet commented on the controversy, as yet.
Earlier, with opposition parties raising question on the use of Modi’s photograph in business advertisements, Rathore responded to Samajwadi Party MP Neeraj Shekhar, admitting the awareness of the government on this matter. Oppositions had also questioned the use of Modi’s photo by other private business organizations like Paytm, mostly after the implementation of the demonetisation policy by the Prime Minister on November 8.
Opposition leaders including Neeraj Shekhar challenged the government on the legal permit for such use of PM’s photograph to promote a private business entity and had also urged for legal action against the same. Asserting legal actions against the business groups, the Information and Broadcast Minister clarified that the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, prohibits the use of specified names or emblems for any trade purposes without center’s permission.
Apart from the Prime Minister, other names and emblems that is prohibited to be used for such purposes, without government’s permission, includes the President, governor of any state, Central or the state governments, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, United Nations Organisation, Ashok Chakra or Dharma Chakra.