Blatant misuse of national emblem, govt logos by mobile apps makers
India was never known to guard its own properties, copyrights or patents. The same goes for protecting the national emblem and official logos of various departments. No wonder, hundreds of private mobile apps maker are blatantly misusing the Indian emblem and official logos like that of Aadhaar, and earning money through advertisements. With the usage of national emblem or official logos, common people take these apps for granted as official apps from the government and ended up boosting income of the private app makers.
 

Take for example an app called the Govt of India! Yes, that is the name of the app created by someone called as 'contactmeandroid'. Except an email ID, not many details of this app developer are available. The app uses India's national emblem as its logo! What is more shocking is that it does not provide any service on its own. It simply rips off data from India.gov.in and shows it inside the app. 
 
The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 prohibits usage of national emblem by any unauthorised person for any purpose. The Act says, "No person can use the emblem or any imitation in a manner so as to create an impression that it is associated with or an official document of the Central Government or State Government, as the case may be, without permission of the appropriate government. No person can use the emblem for commercial purpose or as a part of patent title, trademark or design except in cases as specified by the Central Government. Registration of intellectual property containing the Emblem is prohibited."
 
The Act also prescribes punishments for misuse of national emblem. It says, "Creation of a false impression of association with Government is punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to two years, or with fine, which may extend to Rs5,000 (five thousand rupees), or with both or in case of a subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to Rs5,000 (five thousand rupees). Commercial usage of the Emblem is punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to Rs5,000 (five thousand rupees)". 
 
 
There are literally hundreds of mobile app on Google Play Store that claims to provide everything about or on Aadhaar and Passports. Here are details of some of them, along with names of developer, how it earns money and what it breaches, in terms of misuse of emblem and logos.
 
 
 
The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005, passed by the Parliament regulates improper or commercial usage of national emblem. Under the Act, even state government are required to seek permission from the Central Government for using the national emblem. In addition, even former functionaries of the Government, Commission or Committee, Public Sector Undertaking, Bank, Municipal Council, Panchayat Raj Institution, Parishad, non-government organisation, and University are not allowed to use the national emblem.
 
So how are private mobile app developers being allowed to use the national emblem and logos of government department or services in their mobile apps? Who is responsible for this?   
 
Or is the Act a toothless legislation that is meant to be enforced only as an act of vendetta by governments when they choose to?
 
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    COMMENTS

    Roy Aranha

    3 years ago

    startling total mis use an dis not thi sclean governmemt aware of all this as they promised to provide efficent administration ?

    Hemant Chitale

    3 years ago

    This is unnerving. Many users may be misguided and misled. Malicious software could very well be included in such Apps as well.

    Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

    3 years ago

    The State Emblem of India ( Prohibition of Improper Use ) Act, 2005, is a toothless law, it is not stating who will prosecute the offender.
    This has given a chance to several people to misuse it.
    You cannot carry out any business without the registration of your business. When you register with state government, you will get a registration certificate, with national emblem on it. Several businesses like private financial institutions write on their letter


    Several private financial institutes write on their letter heads and on their board, that "REGISTERED WITH GOVERNMENT OF INDIA" with national logo, giving an impression that it is Government organisation. All such things should be stopped immediately, as such statements mislead the people.

    Shrikant Dattatraya Sahasrabuddhe

    3 years ago

    You have raised an issue of national importance.I will spread the message as far as possible .

    Shrikant Dattatraya Sahasrabuddhe

    3 years ago

    You have raised an issue of national importance.I will spread the message as far as possible .

    Shrikant Dattatraya Sahasrabuddhe

    3 years ago

    You have raised an issue of national importance.I will spread the message as far as possible .

    On Death of the First Holder of Shares and Debentures
    When securities are held jointly in two or three names, on the death of the first holder, the securities will stand transmitted to the surviving security-holders; the name of the first holder will be deleted. However, there is no automatic deletion of the name of the deceased shareholder/debenture-holder. The surviving shareholder/debenture-holder has to submit a certified copy of the death...
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  • Defaulters cannot claim a share in the mortgaged property that bank has acquired, used and sold: SC
    Bank defaulters have no right to make any claim for share on the sale proceeds or rent earned by the lender, ruled the Supreme Court. Kollam-based PK Thampi Raj took a loan of Rs15,000 from State Bank of Travancore (SBT) on 4 July 1981 by creating an equitable mortgage by deposit of title deeds in respect of 1.800 sq. links (one link= 0.66 feet) in Survey No.1073 of 2001 of Vanchiyoor village in Thiruvananthapuram district. However, he defaulted on repayment. In 1983, the Bank filed suit for recovery of Rs19,500 together with an interest at 13.5% per annum. On 25 August 1994, the suit was decreed and the property was put to auction by the Bank. However, since nobody came forward, the Bank itself bought the property and obtained a sale certificate from the Court on 22 February 1994. 
     
    In 2007, the Bank, by inviting tenders, sold the property for Rs10.10 lakh. At this time, Thampi Raj and his wife R Sobhana approached the Bank with a request to return the excess amount, which the Bank secured by way of sale of the property. They also sought for payment of rent that the Bank earned by letting out the property for during 8 July 1996 to May 2006. It was quantified at Rs1.41 lakh. The Bank denied sharing the sale proceeds as well as rental income. 
     
    The couple then approached Kerala HC seeking a mandamus to the Bank to return the excess sale amount in respect of the property along with the rent collected. In its counter affidavit, the Bank said, it became absolute owner of the property after obtaining a sale certificate on 22 February 1994. The Bank relied upon Section 65 of the Code of Civil Procedure to plead that it had perfected its right, title, interest and possession over the property covered by the sale certificate. The Bank also pleaded that the Writ Petitioners did not have any right over the property, which was purchased by it in the auction conducted by Court.
     
    On 28 February 2012, the single Judge of HC dismissed the petition by holding that Thampi Raj and his wife, have no right in the property after the title had passed on to the Bank in 1994 and they cannot have any claim in respect of the rent received for the property or the proceeds of the sale conducted by the Bank.
     
    The couple, aggrieved by the judgement, filed a writ before a Division Bench. During the pendency of the appeal, Thampi Raj died and the children of the couple were impleaded as appellants. The Division Bench took note of the fact that the Sobhana was paralyzed because of meningitis, one daughter was mentally retarded and another son was a psychiatric patient. The Bench on 15 June 2012, ordered the Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore to consider sharing of a substantial amount of profit accrued to the Bank by way of sale of the property with the respondents. The Bank refused to share the proceeds.
     
    Again, on 19 July 2012, the Division Bench asked Board of Directors of SBT to consider directions given by the Court by its earlier order on 15 July 2012. The Board of SBT in its meeting on 10 September 2012 decided that the respondents are not entitled for any payment from the proceeds of the sale of the property. Allowing the writ petition, on 25 September 2012, the Division Bench of Justice CN Ramachandran Nair and Justice PS Gopinathan of the Kerala HC directed State Bank of Travancore to refund within two weeks, Rs6.5 lakh to R Sobhana and her children from the profit earned from the sale of their mortgaged property. The Bank then approached the apex court. 
     
    Senior Advocate RP Bhatt appearing on behalf of SBT submitted that the High Court erred in allowing the writ appeal after recording a finding that the Bank did not indulge in any illegality. According to him, the High Court ought not to have made adverse remarks against the Bank in the matter of its business transactions. He also submitted that the entire transaction could not have been dubbed as unfair. In any event, according to the Bank counsel, R Sobhana and her children cannot assert any legal right to claim a share in the proceeds of sale of the property by the Bank.
     
    Advocate Renjith B Marar, appearing for Sobhana submitted that the family is not only in financial distress but also suffering from serious illness. He also submitted that though the family is not claiming any legal right over the property, but are entitled for some payment by taking into account the fact that they took a loan of Rs15,000 and their property was sold by the Bank for Rs10 lakh.
     
    After hearing both the sides, the apex court Bench said, "It is clear from the facts narrated above that the Bank has not indulged in any illegality either in purchasing the property in the auction conducted by the Court in 1992 or in the sale of the property in the year 2007. The respondents have no right in claiming any share in the proceeds of the sale of the property after the Bank became the owner of the property in 1992," a Bench of Justices Anil R Dave and L Nageswara Rao said in a recent judgement.
     
    While expunging comments made by the Division Bench of Kerala High Court against SBT, the apex court said, the comments are 'unwarranted and deserve to be expunged'. "The High Court erred in directing payment of Rs6.5 lakhs to the respondents towards their share in the proceeds of sale of property by the Bank in 2007."
     
    However, the SC was of the opinion that in the peculiar facts of the case the respondents are entitled to some relief. "They (the family) have availed a loan of Rs15,000 and due to the non-payment of the loan they have lost a property which was sold by the Bank for Rs10 lakh in 2007. It is clear from the record that the family is suffering from acute illness apart from severe financial distress. Taking into account the extreme adversity which the family is facing, we are of the opinion that the respondents are entitled for a payment of Rs5 lakh as ex-gratia," the Bench said while disposing off the appeal.
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    COMMENTS

    B. Yerram Raju

    3 years ago

    Passionate pleas favoured compassion to the declared delinquent borrowers. The moot question that still remains unaddressed is why the Bank should have taken equitable mortgage for a small loan of Rs.15000/- in the first place? It is not clear from the narration the purpose of the loan - whether it was a mortgage loan or a loan for a small business? If it is for mortgage then the Bank's claim to redeem the property has full merit. If it is small business and the borrowers failed to run the business, the business risks need to be hedged differently from the mortgage recourse. Riskiness of the asset that the banks finance has to be assessed independent of collateral securities and prudent decision has to be taken for financing a particular client.

    Srinivasan

    3 years ago

    India is turning slowly into a judicio-cracy (maybe the term does not exist today, but warrants a creation!).
    While I whole-heartedly sympathize with the family's circumstance, they need executive support.

    The judiciary of the day can interpret the law and even pass the equivalent of what is an executive order...

    Let's say I sold a piece of property for a song... due to financial circumstance. The property drastically appreciates and the buyer, who's already wealthy becomes wealthier - I guess I could get intervention to provide me ex-gratia from the wealthy buyer!!!

    God bless India!

    REPLY

    Gupta

    In Reply to Srinivasan 3 years ago

    So true !! :-)

    Gupta

    3 years ago

    This can only happen in India... a bunch of defaulters who are apparently under "financial distress" are able to hire lawyers for HC and SC, which even well to do people can't. I wonder if the same people would have gone to Court if the value of the property had declined to make good the losses to the banks. On one hand, the "honorable" SC says that comments of the HC are "unwarranted" and the respondents have no rights, but at the same time it awards them Rs. 5 lakh on humanitarian grounds... wow, only criminals and defaulters have humanitarian rights in this country... no ones cares that this is a government owned bank which is often bailed out for its bad debt problem. Effectively, people of India are paying 5 lac to a defaulter family. There are many families in financial distress and suffering from illness. Is State bank supposed to distribute 5 lac to each of them? When did courts start considering these factors? Or did the lawyer of the defaulters make special arrangements with the judges ???

    REPLY

    Ashish Pradhan

    In Reply to Gupta 3 years ago

    Absolutely agree with all the points you have made. But just one question out of curiosity.

    If the loan amount was Rs.15000 plus whatever interest was due at the time of auction, shouldn't the Bank have refunded the excess money (if any, coz the price at which the Bank bought the property in auction is not mentioned).

    I am assuming here that the Bank normally refunds recovery over and above its dues.

    If a third party had bought the property at a higher price, would the refund have been made by the Bank?

    Is no rights available to the defaulter because the Bank itself became the owner?

    Just curious to know..

    Thanks

    Gupta

    In Reply to Ashish Pradhan 3 years ago

    By the way, it is also interesting to note in this case that the loan was given in 1981 and a suit had already been filed in 1983. In those good old days, hardly any banks gave housing loans. HDFC was formed in 1977 and had a virtual monopoly till 1999. Public sector banks were never heard of in this market till 2005 or 2006. In all probability and I'm guessing now, this loan was "managed" in 1981 by giving a property worth probably only 5000 as mortgage and taking a loan of 15000 by managing valuation reports and the branch manager. Other than that, there was no incentive for PSU bank to give housing loan in 1981. Also possibly the reason why the loan immediately went in default. If suit was filed in 1983, it is almost certain that default would have occurred in 1981 or 1982 itself as bank would not file a suit so quickly. Just putting the pieces together gives obvious possibilities about what transpired. I have done mortgage business for many years and other than fraud, no housing loan defaults so soon after it is given.

    Contrast this judgment with the US legal system. Let's not talk about a bunch of mentally retarded or sick "poor" people. Let's deal with a whole country and that too a big one. Argentina defaulted on its international bonds in 2001 aggregating to $95 Billion! Subsequently, it negotiated a deal with most of those bondholders to waive 70% of the debt and settle at 30%, that too not payable immediately but over a period of time. Obviously, some small group of bondholders refused the deal and decided to go to court in US. Over a period of years, they tried various ways to recover including trying to arrest a warship belonging to Argentina and even confiscating the President's airplane! Finally, they succeeded in 2014 by getting a judgment from US court that Argentina can pay any other international lender only after they have repaid the debt of these small group of bondholders in full. Since foreign lenders have to be paid in US Dollar and that is only possible through the US banking system, Argentina was forced to default again in 2014 on the other bonds despite having the money! No respite was given to the country despite repeated pleas even after the new default. The whole country was held to ransom which eventually forced them to pay 75% to those small group of bondholders with agreement from those bondholders at that level of payment (not a court imposed waiver of 25%). This 75% was of the total claim amount i.e. not only the principal, but interest for another 12 years at penal rate, all costs incurred by lenders for litigation over the years, etc. In effect, Argentina ended up paying 2.5 times the original principal due despite getting a 25% waiver as against its original offer of paying only 30% of principal. And to pay such a large sum, they had to borrow again from international markets @ 8-9% p.a. interest rate on USD, which is equal to paying 15-16% if we were to compare it to a rupee loan (just for perspective). Imagine a "poor" country borrowing at 15% to pay 2.5 times the sum it borrowed to a small group of bondholders!

    Now if you are an entrepreneur and you see these 2 cases and you want to open a bank, where would you go - to India or USA? Answer is obvious. That is true for all businesses. The cheats stay back because they know how to use the system by using all their intelligence in gaming the system. The more productive folks who use their mind on productive innovation rather than gaming the system go elsewhere... simple !

    Gupta

    In Reply to Ashish Pradhan 3 years ago

    Good point. It would be true of the bank got a Buyer in the auction. In that case the bank was selling the flat "on behalf of the owner i.e. the defaulter" to protect its interest. Any excess realized would belong to the defaulter as owner. But no bids were received and the bank transferred title to itself in settlement of its claims. Note that if the defaulter really didn't have money and felt the bank's price was too cheap in the auction, then he could find a Buyer at the "right" price and help the bank to recover its money and keep the rest. He did none of this. That implies that the loan recoverable was more than market value of the house in 1994 and effectively the bank overpaid to recover whatever it could. Now bank is an absolute owner and the borrower has no right to suddenly appear 25 years after the default in 2007 to claim from the bank. What was he doing for 10 years when bank had not sold the flat till 1994? These are clear cases of malafide intent and abuse of legal system. Sad. Believe it or not, this rotten mentality is the only reason why our country is in abyss

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