Goa HC issues notice to Amitabh Bachchan
Goa-based anti-tobacco organisation NOTE registers a case against Bachchan after billboards showed the Bollywood megastar smoking a cigar on the Goa highway.india Updated: Jun 30, 2008 21:30 IST
The Goa Bench of Mumbai High Court on Monday, issued notice to megastar Amitabh Bachchan and others for allegedly violating the Anti-Tobacco Act.
Goa-based anti-tobacco organisation, National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE), had filed the case against Bachchan and others after billboards showing the megastar smoking a cigar were raised on the Goa highway.
The court, which heard the case today, issued notice to Bachchan, Anchor Electric appliances, Keshu Ramsay and others which are returnable by July 28.
The notices have been issued before admission and the respondents will have to appear in person or through lawyers, court officials said.
NOTE had taken strong objection to Bachchan's still from a film "Family" which was displayed on the billboards raised along the Panaji-Margao highway depicting Big B smoking a cigar.
The organisation had contended the billboards violated anti-tobacco laws applicable in the state.
The lower court had refused to entertain the case stating that there is no substance in it.
However, NOTE had challenged the lower court's order in the High Court which came up for hearing today.
Earlier, Bachchan had apologised to NOTE when the organisation had approached the lower court.
"I am deeply apologetic of the advertisement that has hurt the sentiments of the people at large and organisations such as yours," Bachchan had said in a letter to NOTE India general secretary Shekhar Salkar.
"The publicity banner carrying my photograph was a still from my film 'Family' in which I am portraying the character of an underworld don," he said in the letter.
"While I was not instrumental in designing the publicity campaign, I find from the photograph of the billboard stated to be put out on NH 17 in Goa, that the manufacturers of Anchor electric switches are seeking to promote their own products. Neither B Corp Limited nor I have promoted Anchor products or tobacco products," he said.
"I have made a note of anti-tobacco legislation and informed my producers and told them to take immediate steps so that no such violation takes place as far as I am concerned," he said.
NOTE had issued legal notice to Bachchan on January five for violating Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
"I am a teetotaller, I do not drink nor smoke and I have not indulged in these activities for almost 30 years and have no intentions of indulging in them in the future," Bachchan had said in his letter.