New Delhi

11 March 2017

Reliance Jio and Paytm have seeked apologies for using the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi without prior permission, C.R. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution told Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Chaudhary informed the House in a written reply that Reliance Jio and Paytm have apologised for their mistake.

In September last year, Prime Minister Modi’s image was used in front page newspaper advertisements with the message “Jio is dedicated to realising our Prime Minister’s Digital India vision for 1.2 billion Indians”.

After the central government announced the demonetisation decision in November last year, Paytm, welcoming the move, featured Modi in its advertisements.

Both incidences triggered political controversy.

The Department of Consumer Affairs had sought clarification for using the photograph of the Prime Minister in their respective full page advertisements contravening the prior permission to be sought under ‘The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950′.

The law, however, only envisages a fine of Rs 500 for the illegal use of official names or images or emblems.

The Minister said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory to the print medium to check the permission from the competent authority before issuing any advertisement, wherein the Emblem and the Names specified under the Act are mentioned.


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