New Delhi:An angry Sports Ministry has shot off letters to Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi and title sponsor of the tournament DLF, asking them to stop "misusing" the word India and comply with an Allahabad High Court order.
At the centre of the controversy is the "Building India" tagline in the DLF logo and the objection is to having it on the bowler's run-up area and on the passage leading to the presentation ceremony as well where players frequently trod on them.
"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 KP 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.
The writ petition filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had alleged that placing the 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.
In its letter to Modi, the Ministry also flayed BCCI 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.