HC restrains party from using name/pictures of late Kalam

HC restrains party from using namepictures of late KalamCHENNAI: The Madras High Court today restrained the office bearers of ‘Abdul Kalam Vision India Party’ from using the name and the pictures of late former President A P J Abdul Kalam.

Hearing a civil suit from APJ Mohammed Muthu Meera Maraikayar, brother of Kalam, vacation judge Justice S Vimala said, “This court is of the considered view that a prima facie case is made out and the balance of convenience lies in favor of the national interest to grant an order of injunction.”

“Therefore, having regard to the larger civil rights involved in the suit, ad-interim injunction is granted, restraining defendants from using the name/figurine/ picture of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, as a part of the party name or in the flag of their political party or for any other political activity…”

This is pending final decision to be taken by Election Commission of India and the Chief Election Commissioner of Tamil Nadu on the representation submitted by the petitioner/ plaintiff, the judge said.

The judge, in her order, said, “The name or the office of any president of the country is not used as a name or a symbol of any political party.”

“In fact, right from Dr.Rajendra Prasad to Dr.Prathiba Patil none of the presidents had permitted their names to be used in the name of any political party nor have any of them associated themselves with any political party after their term of Presidency.”

Hence formation of political party with the name of A P J Abdul Kalam is in breach of such glorious tradition left behind by the former presidents, the judge said.

Ponraj, who worked as Secretary to Abdul Kalam with S.Kumar and R.Thirusenduran had formed a political party– ‘Abdul Kalam Vision India Party’, on February 28.

The petitioner submitted that they started the political party only with a view to encashing the love and faith that the people of the nation reposed on his brother.

The petitioner further said even during his Presidency, his brother was apolitical. .
The judge said the issue to be considered in the application was whether the petitioner is entitled to an order of injunction.

“It is a fact that, of all the Presidents of India, Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam holds the unique distinction of being the typical apolitical leader appointed as the President of India.

In fact, he never held any political office prior to his crowning glorying as President of India,” he noted.

The judge further observed that the office of the President of India was proposed by the ruling party of the day, National Democratic Alliance, not on the political considerations, but solely on appreciation of his sterling contribution to the Defense Research and Development in India.

“Though the legal heirs are better placed to resist any attempt to monopolize the image, contribution, reminiscence, of any particular national leader, than anyone else, if such an attempt is targeted, towards achieving monetary gain, political considerations, the executive is the rightful guardian of national legacy and as such have equally better claims as the close relatives of the national leader.”

The judge, in her order, said, “it is brought to the notice of this court that an attempt is being made to gain certain political mileage, presumably against the attitude of the great leader and definitely against the wishes of his legal heir, who is none other than his elder brother.”

If the promoters of the party are serious about realizing the goals of Dr Kalam, “they are at liberty to serve the people in all possible ways that are agreeable to the great leader except through electoral politics through which the possibility of abuse by anybody, including the rival political party cannot be ruled out,” the judge said.–PTI

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