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Montblanc not to sell pens with Gandhi tag
KOCHI, FEB 24 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 25 Feb. 2010 12:13 AM IST
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Montblanc Simplo GmbH, the German company which produces luxurious writing instruments, has submitted before the Kerala High Court that they would not sell ‘Limited Edition Mahatma Gandhi’ pens till further orders. The company had launched pens priced at Rs 14 lakh with Gandhiji’s picture on it. According to Express News Service, the Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice P R Raman and Justice C N Ramachandran Nair has directed the company to submit an affidavit regarding this submission. The company has also sought unconditional apology if the sentiments of any citizen of India had been hurt. The petition in this regard was filed by Dijo Kappen, managing trustee of Centre for Consumer Education. In the petition, he submitted that Mahatma Gandhi was considered the epitome of simplicity and is the Father of the Nation where majority of population is still below the poverty line. “Making him symbol of a Rs 14 lakh pen is nothing but an attempt to degrade everything that Gandhiji symbolised,” he submitted. He also alleged that the company violated the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act-1950. The company, in an affidavit filed before the court, submitted that by impressing Gandhiji’s picture on the pen, they were paying tribute to him on his 140th birth anniversary and along with each pen a brochure paying tribute to Gandhiji was distributed. “The company has also prepared a scheme to donate 9,00,000 dollars to charitable institutions in India, especially to those recommended by Gandhiji’s grandson Tushar Gandhi. The company had no intention to violate the Emblems and Names(Prevention of Improper Use) Act- 1950. The company was unaware of the fact that permission from the Central Government was needed to launch the pen,” the company submitted. “Though the company formally approached the Central Government to regularise its act of using Gandhiji’s picture, the application was rejected. Another application has been submitted to review the rejection of the first application,” they submitted.

 
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