The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued notices to Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar in connection with their endorsement of a gutka brand, the Centre informed the Allahabad High Court on Saturday.
The central government was responding to a contempt petition filed by Advocate Motilal Yadav.
In his petition, Yadav raised concerns about the participation of celebrities, especially those who won the Padma awards, in advertisements or endorsements of certain products or items that are harmful to public health at large.
The Allahabad High Court issued notices to the Cabinet Secretary, Chief Commissioner, and CCPA in August this year in a plea seeking contempt action for non-compliance with its September 2022 order.
Responding to this, Deputy Solicitor General SB Pandey informed the HC bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan that show cause notices were issued to Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar on October 20 this year.
The Deputy Solicitor General also mentioned that Amitabh Bachchan sent a legal notice to a tobacco company that showed an advert featuring him even though he already cancelled his contract. Following this, the court listed the matter for May 2024.
In September last year, the court asked the petitioner to approach the Government of India. Advocate Yadav not only raised concerns over certain Padma awardees endorsing ads for products that are harmful to public health. He also said that guidelines should be issued for dis-conferment of the Padma awards in case any awardee is found conducting himself inappropriately.
This petition named several Bollywood actors including Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Shah Rukh Khan, and Saif Ali Khan. It also named the managing directors of Gutka companies Vimal, Kamla Pasand, and Pan Bahar. The petitioner also sought direction from the CCPA to take action against these Padma awardees and impose a penalty on them.
The petition stated that such individuals should be directed to deposit the amount earned from such endorsements and an equal amount in the Government of India relief fund. Taking note of these issues, the court directed the petitioner to approach the Government of India and draw its attention to the “alleged misconduct”.
They, however, are not the only celebs who have landed in trouble for their adverts. Actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Yami Gautam, Rashmika Mandanna, and Vicky Kaushal have faced hot waters for some of their endorsements.