Satyamev Jayate: Complaint filed against John Abraham’s film for allegedly disrespecting National Emblem

As per reports, a complaint has been filed against the film ‘Satyamev Jayate’ by Mumbai-based advocate Ramakant Patil for allegedly disrespecting the National Emblem in the trailer.

As per the tweet, Patil said in a statement, “I have filed the complaint because ‘Ashok Stambh’ can’t be used for business purpose.” Details of where the complaint has been filed are not available.

This is the second complaint against the film, the first being filed by the Shia community against the Matam scene in the trailer which they have alleged has hurt their religious sentiments. Reportedly the police have lodged the case on July 29 against Emmay Entertainments and others under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) and relevant sections of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

The State Emblems of India (Prohibition of Improper use) Act, 2005 prohibits any person to use the state emblem of India or any colourable 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.
Further, the Act prohibits use of the emblem for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession or in the title of any patent, or in any trade mark or design, except in such cases and under such conditions as may be prescribed. The Act also restricts any competent authority from registering a trademark or design which bears the emblem or from grant patent in respect of an invention which bears a title containing the emblem.

The State Emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka which is preserved in the Sarnath Museum.

The motto “Satyameva Jayate” – Truth alone triumphs – written in Devanagari script below the profile of the Lion Capital is part of the State Emblem of India.

In the case of Manoranjan Santosh Roy v/s Mr. Aamir Khan & Ors, a Public Interest Litigation was filed before the Bombay High Court [ read order here], wherein the petitioner objected to the use of the logo ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in the program aired on Star TV and contended that the same was in contravention of the State Emblems of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005. The Petitioner further objected to the words ‘Satyamev Jayate’ being painted on the ‘Ashok Chakra’ in contravention of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper use ) Act, 1950. However, the Bombay High Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the respondents had not made any pictorial representation of ‘Ashok Chakra’ nor had used the name of Ashok Chakra. The Court further agreed with the contention of the Respondents that the expression ‘Satyamev Jayate’ is publici juris and hence its use cannot be objected.

The use of the ‘Ashoka Stambh’ in the trailer of the film ‘Satyamev Jayate’ does not seem to reflect the exact state emblem with the motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’.  In all likelihood, the court would consider the Bombay High Court’s ruling in Manoranjan Santosh Roy case (supra) and reject the plea.

Image source: here