Regulators

Reliance Jio may be fined for using PM's pic in ad sans permission

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NEW DELHI: The Government has denied that it gave permission for publication of a full-page photograph of the prime minister Narendra Modi in advertisements in newspapers about Reliance Jio.

Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said: “No permission was granted by the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Rathore told the Parliament that the Act, ‘The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950’ is administered by the Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ministry.

He also said that the directorate of advertising and visual publicity (DAVP) of his ministry releases Government advertisements only and does not release advertisements of any private body.

Reliance Jio may have to pay only Rs 500 as fine for using Modi’s picture in advertisement, without permission from the government. Newspapers reported that the minor penalty could be charged from Jio.

Rathore, in a written reply, admitted that it was aware that Reliance Jio used the PM's photographs in the advertisement. About the actions that can be taken against Jio, he replied that the (DAVP) unit was responsible for it is the Emblems and Names (prevention of improper use) Act 1950.

Section-3 of the Act states that no person shall use any “specified” name or emblem for the purpose of any trade, business or any such activities without the “previous permission of the central government” or officers authorised by the government. The list of names and emblems that cannot be used without prior permission from the government includes the president of India, the PM, governor of a state, the government of India or any state, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, United Nations Organisation, Ashok Chakra or Dharma Chakra.

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