Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi and title sponsor of the Twenty20 extravaganza DLF have been asked by the Sports Ministry to stop “misusing” the word India and comply with an Allahabad High Court order.
A writ petition filed in the Allahabad High Court – Lucknow bench – had alleged that placing the said logo on the ground violated the Prevention to Insults to National Honour Act 1971 and the State Emblem of India (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
At the centre of the controversy is the ‘Building India’ tagline in the DLF logo, which is on the bowler’s run-up area and passage leading to the presentation ceremony, on which players frequently tread.
“Please appreciate that the matter in question involves deep public sentiments… with players running over it (the word India) hurts public sentiment and also tantamount to showing disrespect to the name of the country,” the ministry said in its letter to DLF chairman K P Singh.
“I, therefore, sincerely call upon DLF, the title sponsors, to respond to the strong public sentiments in the matter and take urgent action to stop such misuse… failing which, we will take up the matter with the Trade Mark Commissioner for appropriate action,” the letter, signed by joint-secretary Injeti Srinivas, read.
In its letter to Modi, the Ministry also flayed the Board of Control for Cricket in India for its casual approach in the matter.
“This matter was taken up with BCCI in pursuance of directive received from the Allahabad High Court (Lucknow bench)… BCCI was expected to take up the matter with IPL Commissioner and DLF and submit a comprehensive response to the Ministry. However, we are yet to receive any comprehensive response from them.
“Since the court directive is very specific and requires this Ministry to call up on IPL to take appropriate steps for the forthcoming matches… you are advised to take appropriate steps for immediately stopping the misuse of the DLF trademark/logo,” the Ministry told Modi in a separate letter.
“I therefore sincerely call up on the IPL Commissioner to respond to the strong public sentiments in the matter and take urgent action to stop such misuse… failing which we will take up the matter with the appropriate authorities for appropriate action,” the letter added.