The companies have submitted that they were unaware of seeking permission for using PM’s photograph.
NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio and Paytm have apologised for “inadvertently” using PM Narendra Modi’s name and photograph in their advertisements, the consumer affairs ministry informed Rajya Sabha on Friday. The two companies have told the government that they did not use Modi’s photographs for marketing their product, rather it was a manner to laud his initiatives, sources said.
“Clarifications were sought by the department of consumer affairs from Paytm and Reliance Jio wherein they have apologised for their inadvertent mistake,” minister of state for consumer affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The companies have submitted that they were unaware of seeking permission for using PM’s photograph. The two companies reported submitting their responses recently to the consumer affairs ministry.
Now it remains to be seen whether government will further pursue the case as per Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, which has provision of only Rs 500 fine for any violation.
According to Section-3 of the act, no person shall use any “specified” name or emblem for any trade, business or any such activities without the “previous permission of the central government” or officers authorised by the government.
Both the companies had used Modi’s photograph in front page of newspapers in September and November, which had stirred a debate over whether big corporates could use the PM and his office for propagating their business.
The consumer affairs ministry has also told the Rajya Sabha that based on its request information and broadcasting ministry has issued an advisory to print medium to check-up the permission authority from competent authority before issuing any advertisement wherein the emblem and names specified under the act are mentioned.
While the prime minister’s office had initially stonewalled RTI queries on whether Reliance Jio had taken permission from the Centre before using PM’s image, minister of state for I&B Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had told Parliament in December that that no permission was granted to Jio.
Courtesy: Times of India