New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy has raised concerns over the use of the word ‘Republic’ by broadcast journalist Arnab Goswami for his upcoming news channel.

In a letter addressed to the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry dated 13 January, Swamy said that under the Emblems and Names (Prevention and Improper Use) Act 1950, certain names and emblems are prohibited from being used for professional and commercial purposes.

“The channel is to go by the name of Republic. As per the schedule accompanying the statute under item 6, there is an express prohibition from using the word “Republic", Swamy said in the letter, a copy of which he posted on the micro-blogging platform Twitter earlier on Wednesday.

Swamy further added that granting the licence to the channel will be contrary to law and will amount to the breach of Emblem Act and hence asked the ministry to look into the matter and determine if it is prohibited to issue a licence under such name.

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Goswami’s Republic already made its social media debut on 7 January with a Facebook Page and a Twitter handle. The company had also announced the launch of a website www.republicworld.com.

M. Venkaiah Naidu, I&B minister said that as and when the application reaches him, the ministry will look into the matter. “Arnab Goswami is a reputed journalist. We will examine the matter," he said while speaking to journalists at the Indian Women’s Press Corp (IWPC) in New Delhi.

Text messages and calls to Goswami remained unanswered.

“It’s there in the schedule of the Emblems and Names (Prevention and Improper Use) Act 1950 that ‘Republic’ as a phrase cannot be used for professional and commercial purposes. It’s a regular practice that while registration of a company, such names are refused. It’s for the ministry to discuss the issue now," said Apar Gupta, a Delhi-based lawyer and cyber, media law expert.

Goswami quit as the president and editor-in-chief of news channels Times Now and ET Now on 1 November and soon after, announced the launch of his own media venture Republic.

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