Image Courtesy: Business today

Paytm and Reliance Jio has apologized for their unintended mistake in using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph in a recent advertisement without permission, the Parliament was informed on Friday.

Notices were sent to both the companies by the Ministry of Consumer affairs under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, which restricts the use of prime Minister’s name and picture for any kind of commercial use.

Minister of State for Consumer Affairs CR Chaudhary in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said: “Clarifications were sought by the department of consumer affairs from Paytm and Reliance Jio wherein they have apologized for their inadvertent mistake”.

The two companies used the photographs without any prior permission in full page advertisements.

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The Section 3 of the Act provides that no person shall use or continue to use any name or emblem for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession without the previous permission of the central government.
The law provides that “any person who contravenes the provisions of Section 3 shall be punishable with fine, which may exceed to Rs 500”.

The business wrap: Reliance Jio, Paytm apologise for using PM’s photo in ad, and 6 other top stories
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In September 2016, Reliance Jio had spread through its advertisements dedicated Jio to Prime Minister’s Digital India project. Full-page “Reliance Jio: Digital Life” advertisements were published with a photograph of the Prime Minister, dressed in a blue jacket, triggering a political controversy.

On November 8th, 2016, when demonetization was announced, Paytm also posted an advertisement initiating the move as a good way to promote E-wallets.