The government on Tuesday said the depiction of Mahatma Gandhi on nibs of luxury pens from Mont Blanc violates Indian law.
A day after Supreme Court sought the response of Mont Blanc and the government over the pens priced at around Rs 12 lakh, Minister of State for Consumer Affair K V Thomas informed the Lok Sabha that it violates the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
"Yes," he said replying to a question by Congress MPs B B Patil, Eknath M Gaekwad and Madhu Yaskhi whether the luxury pen, watch and fragrance maker violated Indian laws by using the name of Mahatma Gandhi for sale of their pen.
Thomas informed that the Department of Consumer Affairs had received a notice from Kerala High Court on October 29 with a copy of writ petition filed by Dijo Kappen of Kottayam-based Centre for Consumer Education.
"The Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat has been requested to investigate the matter and to take appropriate steps" under the Act, he said.
The Gujarat government has been told to investigate the case because one of the respondents in the petition - Entrack International Trading, a sole distributor of Mont Blanc's pens in the country, is located in Rajkot, he noted.
The Supreme Court had yesterday sought response from the Centre and the global pen company hearing a PIL that seeks to restrain the "misuse" of the picture and name of Mahatma Gandhi for commercial purposes.