Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Union government, MontBlanc International GmbH, Germany, and other respondents on a writ petition that sought a ban on the marketing and sale of "Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition 241" and "Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition 3000" luxury pens in the country.
The Bench, comprising Chief Justice S.R. Bannurmath and Justice A.K. Basheer, issued the notice on the petition filed by Dijo Kappen, managing trustee of the Centre for Consumer Education at Pala in Kottayam.
Montblanc International, on September 29, launched a set of high-end pens priced at Rs.14 lakh each under its limited-edition series called the "Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition-241." The 241 pens in the series were made to signify the "241 miles" travelled by Gandhiji during the Dandi March.'Derogation'
The petitioner said the attempt by the pen company to market luxury pens in the name of the Mahatma Gandhi was in derogation of national honour. The Father of the Nation was considered the epitome of simplicity and making him the symbol of a pen that cost Rs.14 lakh was nothing but an attempt to degrade everything he stood for, and to mock a nation of middle-class and below-the-poverty-line persons who look up to him and whom he tried to liberate.