Reliance Jio and Paytm have issued apologies for their inadvertent mistake of using PM Modi’s photos in commercial advertisements without getting prior permission from the central government. This information was released in the Parliament today. The government also informed that notices were sent to the two companies by the ministry of consumer affairs. The notices were issued under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, which clearly bars the use of Prime Minister’s name and photo for commercial purposes. “Clarifications were sought by the department of consumer affairs from Paytm and Reliance Jio wherein they have apologized for their inadvertent mistake,” junior consumer affairs minister CR Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
It may be recalled that Reliance Jio had published a full-page advertisement about the launch of their 4G services. This advertisement had the name and image of PM Modi. Paytm had also issued an advertisement that talked about the benefits of demonetization and had featured PM Modi’s name and photo. Although it is not illegal to dedicate any service or product to the Prime Minister, it is essential to get prior permission from the government. The issue of PM Modi’s name and photos being used for commercial purposes had attracted criticism from opposition parties.