In what has turned into another flashpoint between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has said it cannot take legal action against anyone for using its name without permission.
Sources in the civic body said the issue was raised by Sena corporators, objecting to BJP MLA Narendra Mehta’s move of setting up a credit society with the name of ‘Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation Shramik Karmchari Sahkari Patsanstha’. The Sena objected to it, saying there is already a ‘Mira Bhayander Palika Karmchari Shakari Patpedhi’, which has been in existence since the days when Mira Bhayander was a municipal council, sources said.
Sena has alleged that Mehta tried to gain control over the old credit society but his attempt was opposed by all parties in the polls of the credit society, held a few months back. “Mehta then set up another credit society with almost similar name. We raised the issue, saying it shouldn’t be allowed and it may further lead to misuse by others,” said Pratap Sarnaik, Sena legislator, in-charge of Mira Bhayander.
Following the Sena’s objection, the civic body sought an opinion from the legal department. “The Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation name is not registered under the Copyright Act and the Trademark Act. So, the criminal action cannot be taken against anyone for using the name without permission,” stated the written reply by Swati Deshpande, assistant commissioner of General Administration Department.
“Had the name of Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation been registered under the above Acts, then the permission of municipal commissioner would have been a must for using the name,” it added.
The opinion of the legal department has not gone down well with the Sena, which has alleged that the name of MBMC is likely to be misused by many people. “It is commercialisation of the civic body… It should better be sold. Anybody can use the name of MBMC for their hotels, liquor shops, bars and other establishments. It will lead to more misuse of the name… The civic body must seek an opinion from the state’s law and judiciary department,” added Saranik.
In his clarification, Mehta said it is the municipal workers’ credit society on the civic body’s premises. “Shall we give some private name to it? And we are using the name after an NOC from civic body. The problem with Sena is that we are trying to give an alternative to the existing credit society. That’s why the Sena is raising the issue,” said Mehta.
However, civic officials said that it can take action if anybody uses the civic body’s name. “The MBMC is the public authority set up after 74th constitutional amendment. So, we can take action if anybody uses the name,” said Vijay Mhasal, deputy municipal commissioner.