TDSAT allows Veecon to use ‘Tiranga TV’ name for its English news channel

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has allowed Veecon Media and Broadcasting to use the name ‘Tiranga TV’ for its newly launched English news channel Harvest TV News.

However, Veecon has decided not to use the colour saffron and green in its logo until the tribunal takes a final call on the matter. The tribunal stated that the use of Tiranga TV is an interim arrangement which will continue till further orders.

The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has argued that the name and logo of Tiranga TV will attract the provisions of Emblems And Names (Prevention Of Improper Use) Act, 1950, Flag Code of India, 2002 or the Trade Marks Act, 1999. These laws restrict the use of national emblems.

“Having considered the matter from all aspects, we are inclined to accept the submission and concession made by Mr. Sibal and accordingly we pass an interim direction that in case the petitioner chooses to change its name, it can, as an interim measure, use the name Tiranga TV, as submitted to the authorities but without using the saffron and green colors on the name and logo. This interim arrangement shall continue until further orders,” TDSAT said in its order.

Veecon is embroiled in a controversy over the name of the channel. While the original IP owners of the name Harvest TV have objected to Veecon using the name for its English news channel.

In its defense, Veecon has stated that its application for changing the name and logo of the channel to ‘Tiranga TV’ is pending with the MIB since September 2017.

Harvest TV News is being financed by Congress leader Kapil Sibal and has leading journalists like Barkha Dutt and Karan Thapar associated with it. The channel, which went live on 26th January, has been surrounded by controversies ever since it launched.

The MIB has been asked to file a reply within three weeks. Time for filing rejoinder, if required, shall be granted on the next date. The matter has been posted under the same head on 14th March instead of 5th March, as fixed earlier.

Veecon had filed an application on 7th February seeking an interim order/direction for the change of name and logo of its TV channel from ‘Harvest TV’ to ‘Tiranga TV’. The urgency expressed was on account of a notice from a Civil Court in a suit for injunction filed by the third party.

The tribunal noted that the name Tiranga itself is not covered by the Schedule of 1950 Act nor is the subject matter of Flag Code. However, this may not strictly apply to the use of the three colors which is there in the emblem of Tiranga TV.

The company had filed a petition in the tribunal after its name and logo change application filed on 26.9.2017 remained pending for a long time and in the meanwhile, it faced the threat of an injunction or possible injunction from a third entity to prohibit it from using the present name of ‘Harvest TV’.

In the earlier order, the tribunal had allowed it to use Harvest TV name till the MIB takes a decision on the name and logo change application of Veecon considering the fact that the channel operates in news and current affairs category.


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