Central government issues notice to Bollywood stars for endorsing gutka products


Lucknow: The central government has taken serious note of the allegations that some Bollywood actors, who have been conferred with prestigious awards by the government, are endorsing gutka products, which are harmful to health. The government has issued notices to actors Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, and Ajay Devgn, asking them to explain why they are promoting such products.

The government’s action came in response to a contempt petition filed by a social activist, who had approached the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, seeking action against the actors and the gutka companies. The petitioner had claimed that the actors were violating the terms and conditions of the awards they had received from the government and were also misleading the public by endorsing gutka products.

The petitioner had also submitted that the Supreme Court had banned the sale and consumption of gutka products in 2011, and had directed the states and the Centre to implement the ban strictly. The petitioner had alleged that the actors and the gutka companies were flouting the apex court’s order and were endangering the lives of millions of people.

The Centre’s counsel, Deputy Solicitor General SB Pandey, informed the High Court on Friday that the government had issued show cause notices to the actors on October 22, and had sought their replies within 15 days. He also informed the court that the same issue was pending before the Supreme Court and that the apex court had asked the Centre to file a status report on the matter.

He requested the High Court to dismiss the contempt petition, as it was not maintainable given the Supreme Court’s proceedings. He also assured the court that the government was committed to curb the menace of gutka products and to protect the health of the citizens.

The High Court, after hearing the submission, adjourned the hearing till May 9, 2024. The bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan had earlier issued a notice to the Cabinet Secretary of the central government, asking him to decide the representation of the petitioner within four weeks.


The court was also apprised that actor Amitabh Bachchan, who had also been accused of endorsing gutka products, had sent a legal notice to a gutka company, which was using his advertisement without his consent. Bachchan had claimed that he had terminated his contract with the company in 2017 and had asked the company to stop using his name and image to promote its products.