| Bachchan in Mumbai. (Fotocorp )
Mumbai, Nov. 21: A Panaji court has summoned Amitabh Bachchan on November 29, nearly 10 months after the NGO National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication filed a complaint against the actor and four others for violating the anti-tobacco law.
Bachchan had appeared in an Anchor Daewoo India advertisement that featured a still from the film Family showing him with a cigar.
“The order was issued on Saturday and summons were sent on Monday, though I received the signed order only this afternoon,” said Shekhar Salkar, secretary-general of the Goa-based NGO.
Salkar said he had put an advertisement in a local newspaper when Bachchan was in Goa in December last year recovering from surgery.
“I put out an ad asking him why should he appear in ads promoting tobacco and jeopardise the lives of people while millions prayed for his long life and good health. The very next day, the ads were taken off hoardings in Goa. But I knew later that they were still in place elsewhere,” says Salkar.
Salkar says he also wrote to the actor asking him to take up the matter with the producers of Family. “On January 9, I received a letter from him (Bachchan) apologising for the use of the posters. He promised to ask the producers of Family to stop using the ad. But nothing happened. On January 25, I filed a case,” Salkar said.
“Neither AB Corporation nor I have promoted Anchor products or tobacco products. Anchor appears to have taken undue liberty while using the stills from the film Family,” Bachchan wrote in his letter dated January 9. The superstar claimed neither he nor AB Corporation was aware of the ads.
Salkar then suggested that Bachchan appear in the media to condemn the tobacco menace. “But there was no response,” said Salkar.
Sunil Doshi, Bachchan’s brand manager and family friend, said the superstar was not in a position to comment. “His mother is very unwell, we are all very anxious and waiting at the hospital. This isn’t a good time to talk about these things. Besides, the matter is sub judice.”