Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, flagging the issue of some people associated with the Animal Welfare Board of India using the national emblem on their visiting cards to gain personal favours.
The Women and Child Development Minister has urged Vardhan to initiate action to prevent the misuse of the power granted to the nominated members of the board and initiate necessary legal action against the persons concerned under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use ) Act, 2005.
In her letter, Gandhi said that it has been brought to her attention that some people associated with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) were openly using the emblem on their letterheads and visiting cards to influence state governments and extort personal favours from the public.
This is a case of misrepresentation and fraud, she said.
The Emblem of India can only be used as per the provisions of the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use ) Act 2005 and any unauthorised use is punishable under law.
"Some of the persons using the emblem have not even been nominated as members of AWBI but are simply persons working with the Chairman.
"This is disgraceful situation more because such illegal demands are being made not only using the Emblem of the State, but also under the logo and banner of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change," Gandhi said.
She urged Vardhan to take immediate action to prevent the misuse.