New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition has been filed seeking the arrest and prosecution of test cricketer Virat Kohli and actor Tamannaah for endorsing online gaming apps. The PIL, which has been filed in the Madras High Court, seeks a direction to shut down online gaming sites and to arrest and prosecute promoters and its brand ambassadors. The petition comes following the recent suicide of a youngster from Chennai who, according to his suicide note, was addicted to gambling and lost all his savings and the additional money, which he took from his employer, on an online gambling app.
The petitioner, AP Suryaprakasam, an advocate at the Madras High Court, has also sought a direction to arrest and prosecute test cricketer Virat Kohli and actor Tamannaah for endorsing the online gaming apps. He states in his PIL that their role has been in abetting youngsters to gamble online and that according to the law, both playing and abetment to play gambling is a criminal offence.
Queried on the rationale of his plea for arrest and prosecution of Kohli and Tamannaah as they are just paid brand ambassadors, the petitioner told IANS, “They are the major influencing factor. Gambling is evil and they are promoting it. As a matter of fact, the amended Consumer Protection Act has a provision that for false advertisements the brand ambassadors are responsible.”