In a surprising turn of events, three Bollywood megastars—Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar — are now at the center of a legal storm for ‘Gutka Ads‘. Their involvement in advertisements for gutka companies has sparked controversy, raising concerns about the ethics of celebrities endorsing products harmful to public health. Let’s check out the whole story of this legal thing and see how it might mess with the entertainment world.
Table of Contents
The Legal Battle Unfolds
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued notices to the aforementioned actors, responding to a contempt petition filed by Advocate Motilal Yadav. The petition, which emphasizes the participation of Padma awardees in endorsing harmful products, has prompted the Allahabad High Court to intervene.
Advocate Yadav’s Concerns
In his petition, Yadav highlights the contradiction of esteemed individuals, bestowed with prestigious awards like the Padma, promoting products detrimental to public health. The lawyer asserts that despite raising concerns with the government, no substantial action has been taken. This led to a contempt petition, which, in turn, triggered notices to the central government and the CCPA.
The Big Names Involved
Apart from Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar, the legal saga also encompasses other Bollywood luminaries, including Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, and the managing directors of Gutka companies—Vimal, Kamla Pasand, and Pan Bahar. The petition seeks not only punitive measures but also demands the deposition of earnings from such endorsements (Gutka Ads) into the Government of India relief fund.
Not only Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar but Amitabh Bachchan’s Legal Tussle
The legal quagmire extends to Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, who sent a legal notice to a tobacco company for featuring him in an advertisement, even after canceling his contract. This development adds another layer to the complex legal proceedings, indicating a wider issue within the entertainment industry.
High Court’s Directive
The Allahabad High Court, recognizing the severity of the matter, has directed the petitioner to approach the Government of India and draw attention to the alleged misconduct. This raises questions about the responsibility of celebrities in promoting products that may harm the public, especially when adorned with prestigious awards.
Implications for Padma Awardees
Advocate Yadav not only seeks punitive action but also proposes the formulation of guidelines for the dis-conferment of Padma awards in cases of inappropriate conduct by awardees. This could mark a significant shift in how the government views the ethical responsibility of those honored with prestigious awards.
The legal troubles faced by Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar are not isolated incidents. Several other Bollywood actors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Yami Gautam, Rashmika Mandanna, and Vicky Kaushal, have faced scrutiny for their endorsements. This sparks a broader conversation about the accountability of celebrities in choosing endorsements that align with public welfare.
As the legal battle unfolds, the controversy surrounding the gutka ads featuring Bollywood icons continues to capture public attention. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for the ethical responsibilities of celebrities, prompting a much-needed reassessment of endorsement choices within the entertainment industry. The May 2024 court proceeding promises to shed more light on the fate of these iconic actors and the broader implications for celebrity endorsements in India.