Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgn find themselves entangled in a legal controversy following their joint participation in a multi-brand endorsement for a tobacco ad. The Allahabad court has issued notices in response to a petition filed against the actors, raising concerns about their association with gutka companies.
Legal Proceedings and Notices:
Deputy Solicitor General SB Pandey has informed the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court that the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) issued notices to the actors on October 20. The court has been urged to dismiss the petition, citing that the Supreme Court is also addressing the matter. The next hearing is scheduled for May 9, 2024.
Allegations and Petition Against Celebrities:
The petition, filed by Advocate Motilal Yadav, expresses concerns about celebrities, including ‘Padma Awardees’ like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgn, endorsing products harmful to public health. The controversy gained momentum in August 2023, leading to notices issued to top officials, demanding contempt action for non-compliance with a September 2022 order.
Show Cause Notices and Government’s Response:
Deputy Solicitor General SB Pandey informed the High Court that show cause notices were issued to the actors on October 20, with representations made to the government on October 22. The petitioner argued that despite these actions, no substantial measures were taken. Consequently, the High Court issued notices to the Cabinet Secretary of the Central Government.
Amitabh Bachchan’s Legal Notice:
The legal turmoil extends beyond the trio, as megastar Amitabh Bachchan also faced a similar predicament. Having sent a legal notice to a tobacco company for continuing to showcase his advertisement post the contract cancellation, Bachchan’s case adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing legal saga.
The legal proceedings involving Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgn underscore the ethical responsibilities celebrities bear in endorsing products with potential health hazards. As the matter unfolds in both the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court, the Bollywood icons await a resolution that may have far-reaching implications on celebrity endorsements and public health awareness
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