Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do Mont Blanc & Mahatma go together: SC

PIL Accuses The Pen-Maker Of Misusing Gandhi In Its Ads

New Delhi: Can Mahatma Gandhi be the poster boy for driving home the message that a super-expensive Mont Blanc “pen is mightier than the sword?” To this question of a PIL petitioner, the Supreme Court on Monday sought responses of the Centre and the retail outlet of the pen-maker in Delhi.
Though a Bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices AK Ganguly and BS Chauhan had some reservations in entertaining the PIL filed by Harsh Vardhan Surna and Sandeep Singh, it issued notices to the Centre and Mont Blanc Boutique after they pointed out that use of Mahatma Gandhi’s pictures was in violation of Emblem Act.
However, the Bench declined to issue notice to Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. The petitioners had alleged that Tushar Gandhi, the greatgrandson of the Father of the Nation, had accepted a cheque of Rs 70-75 lakh to lend the name of the organisation to the foreign pen brand.
“The foundation will further receive between $200 and $1,000 for each pen sold. The maker of Mont Blanc is offering the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Pens’ at an unbelievable price of approximately Rs 12 lakh per pen. Mahatma Gandhi’s images are being displayed in hoardings conveying messages that the pen is mightier than the sword,” the petitioners said.
Associating Mahatma Gandhi’s name with the expensive pen rebelled against the values and ideals in which the Father of the Nation believed in and fought for throughout his life, the petitioners said.

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