The Madurai bench of Madras High Court has issued notice to cricketers Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly and actors Prakash Raj, Tamannaah and Rana Daggubati for endorsing online gambling games despite knowing that the games will influence the public. The Madurai bench has also directed the Central and state government to respond to the issue.
The court issued the orders after a Public Interest Litigation filed by resident of Madurai Mohamed Rasvi seeking a ban on online gambling games. The PIL came up for hearing before the bench of judges, Justice Kirubakharan and Justice Pugazhendhi. The bench strongly commented against the practice, questioning the celebrities as to why they endorsed the gambling apps despite knowing that the public will carry forward the practice.
The counsel appearing for Play Games said that the petitioner has even included Dream 11, a cricket gaming app. The bench, however, questioned whether cricket does not amount to gambling. The bench said the gambling games will create a wrong example for the public and the apps play with the feelings of the people.
Citing these, the bench issued notices to Union and state governments, cricket players Virat Kohli, Ganguly and actors Prakash Raj, Tamannaah and Rana Daggubati. The bench also adjourned the case to November 19.
Another petition by an advocate of the Madras High Court demanding the arrest and prosecution of Virat Kohli and Tamannah is pending in the court.
The petitioner AP Suryaprakasam, an advocate of the Madras High Court filed the petition stating that the celebrities abetted youngsters to online gambling and the law accounts playing and abatement of gambling as a criminal offence. The petitioner also said that the celebrities cannot do away as paid actors.
In October, a man took his life in Puducherry after losing Rs 30 lakhs to online gambling. The youngster before his death also recorded an audio message saying there should be a campaign to ban online gambling games. He asked his wife to circulate the message so that his death will be the last in the state. Vijayakumar also said that despite knowing the modus operandi of the app, he could not stop playing due to the addiction.