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The State Emblems of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005

An Act no. 50 of the year 2005 being the Act of Parliament was enacted with the name and short title as ‘The State Emblems of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005’. The Act was enacted with the view to provide for prohibition of improper use of the State Emblem of India for professional and commercial purposes. It has received assent of the President of India on 20th December, 2005 and was extended to entire territories of India. And also persons being Indian Citizens either inland or outside India, are subjected to the provisions of this Act.

The Act under its section 3 provides for prohibition on the improper use of state emblem, similarly, as has been pointed in the main purpose of the Act. It is provided in the section that using of the emblem or any colourable imitation thereof so as to create impression that the same is related to the Government is prohibited. Similarly, the persons are prohibited to use such emblem in the manner to show that a particular document is belonging Central or State Government. Such use of state emblem can only be done with the due permission from the Central Government or authorized officers in this behalf. Further, section 4 of the Act prohibits the use of State emblem for the purpose relating to trade, business, profession, etc. or even in title of any patent or trade mark, etc. However, there may be certain special cases where such use can be done on specified conditions. Such prohibitions also provided in respect of registration of any trade mark or design where such State emblem is bearing such trade mark, etc. The registering authority is restricted to register such trade mark or designs or even any patent granting authority should also not grant patent in relation to any Invention which bears title where the State emblem.

Further the Central Government is provided with the authority to provide for the provisions by making necessary rules for regulating use of emblem which is used as official seal in the its offices and also at the offices of the State Governments and their concerned organisations including diplomatic missions at abroad. It may also provide for such use of State emblem on any prescribed restrictions or conditions. There are several powers of the Central Government under this Act provided particularly, under section 6 thereof including the issuance of notifications as to any use of such emblem on stationery, also method in which the printing or embossing the same, specifying the design of the official seal where such emblem is consisting. Such powers also includes restricting the display of such emblem on vehicles of constitutional authorities, foreign dignitaries, Central and State Government’s Ministers and also to provide guidelines for display of said emblem on public owned buildings in the country and also in abroad where the buildings are occupied by Indian authorities. The Central Government is also empower to specify the terms and conditions under which such emblem can be used for various other purposes, including educational, armed forces personals, etc. and also provide for other expedient purposes for which such emblem can be used.

Moreover, section 7 of the Act makes penal provisions under the Act and it describes an offence of breaching of provisions of section 3 as aforesaid, and provides maximum punishment in terms of imprisonment of 2 years or there can be fine which maximum is 500 INR or even offender can be sent behind bars and can also be held liable to pay fine. For committing offence under this Act second time, the offender thereof will be sent behind bars for at least 5 months imprisonment and also 500 rupees compulsory fine and subject to maximum punishment as aforesaid. Moreover, said section also makes breaching of provisions of section 4 is an offence under this Act. It is given that if such violation is with the object to gain wrongfully, then the minimum punishment is given as of 6 months period subject to maximum period of 2 years imprisonment and maximum fine upto 500 INR. Further it is said that for instituting prosecution under this Act, a prior sanction from Central Government or its authorized officer is necessary. Central Government is against empowered to make rules under this Act in order to provide for the purpose of this Act and also on the matters given under section 11 of the Act. As such, the Central Government has framed the rules namely, the State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules, 2007.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.