The Madras High Court has sent notices to popular Tamil film actor Vijay and film director Murugadoss returnable by July 16 for having to depict a smoking scene in the first look posters released around the world for his upcoming film “Sarkar”
Actor Vijay commands a huge fan following among youth in Tamil Nadu and the actor promoting a tobacco product is reprehensible said the petitioner S. Cyril Alexander, Convener of the Tamilnadu People’s form for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC)who filed the PIL.
The petitioner has also prayed that the court slap Rs.10 Cr. as damages to the Government Cancer Hospital at Royapetta in the city by the actor, the director, and Sun Pictures, which produced the film.
Citing that promoting tobacco product is a punishable offense under the sector 5 (3) of the Cigarette and other tobacco products (Prohibition Act) 2003, the petitioner has contended that the enforcement of the law on the subject is much wanting all over the country.
Actors who command the loyalty and patronage of the millions of fans should be doubly cautious when promoting evil thing such as tobacco.
Hearing the petition, the first division bench consisting of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice P.T. Asha also directed the High court Registry to order notices to state and Central Governments for failing to check the menace.
It may be recalled that Superstar Rajinikanth gave up on acting in smoking scenes in his films after Pattali Makkal Katchi leader Ramadoss, a doctor by profession appealed to him to set a good example for the youth of the country by quitting acting in such scenes.