The controversy broke out over a first look poster of actor Vijay’s upcoming film Sarkar, which showed the actor smoking, is refusing to die down.
Today, the Madras High Court issued notices to the stakeholders of the film. Vijay, director Murugadoss, production house Sun Pictures along with the state and central governments have been directed to respond in two weeks’ time.
Hearing a PIL filed against the poster, the Madras High Court today instructed Murugadoss, Vijay and producers Sun Pictures to reply in a couple of weeks.
The PIL alleged that since the poster promoted the unhealthy habit of smoking, the actor, director and producer should contribute Rs 10 crore each towards the Cancer Institute in Adyar.
The office of the Director of Public Health had sent a letter to Vijay on Friday, the director and the producer, directing them to withdraw the poster. Tobacco products must not be used for any promotional purposes as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 and its rules, he said.
Soon after the poster was released, Union Health Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss took to Twitter to express his displeasure.
Calling the poster as shame on Vijay, he tweeted: “You’ll look more stylish without that cigarette.#SmokingKills #SmokingCausesCancer.”