Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Ajay Devgn have been accused of "promoting consumption of gutkha and tobacco" in a petition filed on Thursday before a court in Bihar.
Ajay Devgn has been an ambassador of tobacco brand Vimal for a few years. Shah Rukh Khan also came on board last year. Amitabh Bachchan had signed on as brand ambasador for Kamla Pasand before cutting his ties with the brand. Ranveer Singh has also endorsed the brand.
The plea has been filed before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Muzaffarpur, by city-based social activist Tamanna Hashmi, who has alleged that commercials featuring these actors encouraged people to consume the items being advertised.
Tamanna has also named actor Ranveer Singh among those who were "misusing their celebrity status" by agreeing to appear in gutkha and pan masala ads. The prayer has sought directions to the police that FIR be lodged against the actors under IPC sections 311 (punishment to a thug), 420 (cheating) and 467 and 468 (forgery). It is likely to be taken up for hearing in due course.
Last month, actor Akshay Kumar, who appeared on tobacco brand Vimal's ad, cut his ties from the company after his fans slammed him for promoting tobacco. The Vimal ad, also featured actors Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan.
In October 2021, Amitabh Bachchan terminated his contract with a chewing tobacco brand, Kamla Pasand. His office released a statement stating that Amitabh wasn't aware of a few details. The statement read, "When Mr Bachchan became associated with the brand, he wasn't aware it falls under surrogate advertising. Now, he has terminated the contract with the brand, has written to them about his termination, and has returned the money received for the promotion." In November, Amitabh sent a legal notice to the company, after it continued to air commercials featuring him despite termination of the contract.