Plea against celebrities endorsing online games dismissed by Madras High Court

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The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition that sought to prevent celebrities from endorsing online games in advertisements, calling the public interest litigation ‘a waste of time’ and nothing but the petitioner’s attempt to gain fame by targeting prominent personalities.

Filed in 2020, the petition by I. Mohammed Razvi of Madurai sought a direction to take action against various celebrities which include cricketer Virat Kohli, former cricketer Sourav Ganguly and actors Prakash Raj, Rana Daggubati, Tamannah Bhatia, and Sudeep who have been seen to be endorsing online games in advertisements.

The court observed that according to the petitioner’s personal sense of morality, certain online activities should be scrapped and celebrities should be restricted from promoting them. 

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It would be open to the petitioner to approach the appropriate authorities to take steps to prohibit online games or such activities, the judges said.

Some would say this judgement appears to be in sharp contrast to the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court’s move last year when they issued notices to two Indian captains — Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli — for endorsing online gaming apps that involve financial transactions. Last year, as reported by Outlook, the court had also expressed sadness and grief over the suicide cases after at least 10 people lost money by indulging in online gambling.

Over the past year, online gaming has been a hot topic of discussion in India as it remains shrouded in litigations, bans, PILs and court cases.