Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn get Centre’s notice for endorsing ‘gutka’; but, are they guilty? | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn get Centre’s notice for endorsing ‘gutka’; but, are they guilty?
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Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn get Centre’s notice for endorsing ‘gutka’; but, are they guilty?

Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn have been issued notice in a gutka ad case.

Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn have been issued notice related to a 'gutka' ad casePremium
Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn have been issued notice related to a 'gutka' ad case

The Central government has informed the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court about issuing notices to Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn. This action is in response to their involvement in advertisements for gutka companies, PTI reported.

The government's move came after a contempt petition was filed, urging action against these celebrities. The petitioner have argued that, despite being recipients of high-profile awards, these actors have been promoting products harmful to public health, PTI reported.

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The High Court earlier instructed the government to address the petitioner's concerns. Despite the representation made on October 22, there was initially no action taken, leading to the filing of a contempt petition.

During the court proceedings on December 8, Deputy Solicitor General SB Pandey confirmed that show-cause notices had been sent to the three actors. The court also learned about Amitabh Bachchan's legal action against a gutka company. 

Also Read: 'Who wouldn't want to?': Akshay Kumar says he'd love another chance to interview PM Modi

Bachchan had terminated his contract with the company, yet his advertisement continued to be aired. The next hearing has been scheduled for May 9, 2024.

Surrogate advertising

In India, direct advertising of gutka is banned due to its health risks. Companies bypass this through surrogate advertising, promoting gutka brands under seemingly-unrelated products like flavoured betel nuts.

Also Read: Ajay Devgn’s ‘Singham Again’ to release for Independence Day 2024

To tackle this loophole, authorities like the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) are taking action against pan masala companies for surrogate ads. The Allahabad High Court has also intervened, issuing notices for non-compliance with advertisement bans, particularly involving notable awardees.

Do SRK, Akshay and Ajay Devgn promote gutka?

Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn have been under fire for promoting Vimal Elaichi, which falls under the category of mouth-freshners. 

Also Read: Odisha: Puri's Jagannath Temple bans 'paan', 'gutka', other tobacco products on premises from next year

The company claims that the cardamom product, which also contains saffron, is 100% tobacco-free. It is not a violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) to hire celebrities to endorse such products, the company early argued.

However, many accuse the company of promoting tobacco products like zarda, gutka and khaini (which Vimal is typically known for) under the guise of Vimal Elaichi.

(With PTI inputs)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and sports. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Published: 10 Dec 2023, 02:29 PM IST
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