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PIL against ‘Satyameva Jayate’ words used in TV show dismissed

Aamir Khan at a promotional event

Mumbai : In a relief to actor Aamir Khan and Star TV, the Bombay High Court today dismissed a public interest litigation taking objection to the use of words ‘Satyameva Jayate’ in their television programme.

“Under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition and Improper Use) Act and State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules, prohibition is only for the use of the Emblem as a whole and not the motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’ separately,” a division bench of justices A S Oka and A A Sayyed said today.

The bench dismissed the PIL filed by activist Manoranjan Roy, who claimed that use of the words ‘Satyameva Jayate’ for trade purposes and gain is violative of the Act and Rules.

“There is no merit in the petition to show that the programme’s logo is an imitation of the Emblem. Hence sections 3 and 4 of the Act are not attracted,” the court said.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, earlier told the court that the words ‘Satyameva Jayate’ are only the motto of the Emblem.

“Use of Emblem as a whole is specifically prohibited under the Act. Use of the motto is not prohibited,” he said.

The petitioner’s lawyer, however, argued that even the use of the motto attracts violation under the Act, and hence should be prohibited.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs in its affidavit filed earlier had said the use of the phrase ‘Satyameva Jayate’ was not violative of the Act and Rules.

“The Act and Rules prohibit improper use of the State Emblem of India as a whole. There is no provision which prohibits the use of its part like ‘Satyameva Jayate’, the lion, the bull, the horse and so on,” said the affidavit filed by Pradeep Pandey, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.

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