The Prime Minister’s Office did not give Reliance Jio permission to use Narendra Modi’s picture in print and electronic advertisements for the company, IANS reported on Friday. In a written reply to a question filed in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting RS Rathore said the government was aware of the use the prime minister’s photographs by the company for its promotions.

Rathore said the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, the agency responsible for releasing advertisements on the policies of the government, only puts out government promotions and does not “release advertisements of any private body”.

Samajwadi Party leader Neeraj Shekhar, who submitted the question, had also sought to know the action taken against Jio if it had not been granted permission to use the photographs. Rathore said the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, was the law regarding such matters. The law is administered by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Jio’s use of Modi’s photographs in its advertising campaign following its launch was sharply criticised by both members of the public as well as political parties, including Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal.