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Won’t use Mahatama`s picture: Montblanc to SC

International luxury giant Montblanc on Monday assured the Supreme Court that it will not use the picture and name of Mahatma Gandhi for commercial purposes.



New Delhi: International luxury giant
Montblanc on Monday assured the Supreme Court that it will not use
the picture and name of Mahatma Gandhi for commercial
purposes.

The undertaking to this effect by Montblanc Boutique and
Montblanc International GMBH was given to the apex court after
Government said that it has rejected the plea of the MNC
seeking permission to use the image of Gandhi for its
high-end Mahatma Gandhi limited edition pens.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said that the
Government has issued a notification in this regard after
rejecting the application of Montblanc.

"We will not permit the use of word or picture of Mahatma
Gandhi for commercial purpose. This is a national emblem and
this cannot be used for commercial purpose," he submitted
before a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and
Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan.

He said the company has to make an honest commitment that
it will not sell the pens anymore.

The counsel for the MNC said that such an undertaking has
already been given to the Kerala High Court in February this
year and it was ready to do so before the apex court.

The bench recorded the undertaking of the Montblanc and
said "it will also be binding on the distributors of the
luxury pens".

The apex court was hearing the petition filed by two
lawyers claiming the Montblanc Boutique and Montblanc
International GMBH were misusing Mahatma`s name for marketing
purposes.

It had issued notices to the Centre and the MNC on the
petition filed by Harsh Vardhan Surana and Sandeep Singh
alleging that the company was using the greatness of the
person to sell an ordinary product at unbelievable high
prices.

The petition had claimed the practice adopted by the
company in this regard was in violation of the Emblems and
Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.

"Under the Act, no person can use for the purpose of any
trade, business or calling or profession, or in the title of
any patent, or in any trademark or design, any name or emblem,
specified in the Schedule or any any colourable imitation
without the previous permission of the Centre," the PIL had
said.

The PIL had alleged the company involved Mahatma Gandhi
Foundation, "which is being governed by people with self-
interest", in its project only for the sake of money and
commercial gains.

"This company is using his (Gandhi`s) greatness for its
selfish gains. What they are doing now is nothing charitable
but only for commercial gains. For the sake of money, the
company has involved Mahatma Gandhi Foundation governed by
people with self-interest," it had said.

The petitioners had said the ruling party and the
opposition were doing nothing as nobody wanted to spend their
energy on this sensitive issue.

"It is for the judiciary and for the apex court to
intervene and direct. The very act is demeaning for every
citizen`s self-respect and for the nation`s image. It`s a
shame and disgrace," it had said.

PTI

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