A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against Gopal Chandra Roy, a former Congress MLA from Banamalipur constituency in North Tripura for using National Emblem in his letterhead. Roy is a lawyer by profession and serves as an advisor to the Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee. He is also the owner and editor of Ganasambad Patrika, an Agartala based newspaper.
Fir against EX Congress MLA Gopal Roy for using the emblem of India in his letterhead.@ANI @EastMojo @ie_seven @TOIIndiaNews @htTweets @ani_digital @vikrantkumar @nanditathhakur pic.twitter.com/1ijs8swbCK— Raja • राजा 🇮🇳 (@RRa_jAA) April 5, 2020
As can be seen in the image of the letter, Gopal Roy is currently holding no official position, but he is using the national emblem on his letterhead. It mentions that he is adviser to Tripura Congress Committee, president of Tripura Olympic Association, Former president of Tripura Congress, former Congress legislative party leader, advocate at Tripura High Court, and the owner and editor of Ganasambad Patrika. None of these authorises him to use the national emblem as per laws.
The National Emblem is the representation of the Government of India. Under the State Emblem of India (prohibition of improper use) Act, 2005, individuals and private organisations are restricted from using it.
Section 3 of the Act reads, “no person shall use the emblem or any colorable imitation thereof in any manner which tends to create an impression that it relates to the Government or that it is an official document of the Central Government, or as the case may be, the State Government, without the previous permission of the Central Government or of such officer of that Government as may be authorised by it in this behalf.”
In 2007, the UPA Government gave a clear direction under State Emblem of India (Regulation of use) Rules about who can use National Emblem in their seals. Rule 10(3) states that “No association or body of persons, whether incorporated or not, shall use the emblem on their letter-heads, brochures, house flags or for any other purpose in any manner.”
Rule 10(4) further adds “The stationery, including letter-heads, visiting cards and greeting cards, with emblem printed or embossed on it, shall not bear words, like, Advocate, Editor, Chartered Accountant with the name of the person authorised to use the emblem under these rules on the stationery.”
In January 2017, BJP leader and founder of Virat Hindustan Sangam (VHS) Subramanian Swamy revealed on Twitter that he had written a letter to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, informing about a possible violation of rules and laws by Arnab Goswami, since the former Times Now editor-in-chief had named his new venture “Republic.” Swamy had a point, as the Emblems and Names (Prevention of improper use) Act of 1950 forbids the use of certain terms ‘for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession’. Such terms are explained and included in the act, and under item 6 of the schedule, the term “Republic” is mentioned. After that, the new channel was named “Republic TV”, to avoid any confrontation with law.