New Delhi  :The High Court in New Delhi has raised concerns over the involvement of Padma award winners in the promotion of harmful substances like Gutkha. This move has sparked a significant debate on the ethical responsibilities of celebrities, including stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Ajay Devgn, who have endorsed products from Gutkha and Pan Masala companies. This article delves into the implications of such endorsements, the legal proceedings that have ensued, and the potential impact on public health.

The High Court’s Firm Stance

The decision by the High Court to take action against Padma winners involved in promoting Gutkha and Pan Masala products showcases a heightened sense of accountability. These celebrities, who have been bestowed with one of the country’s highest civilian honors, are now facing scrutiny for endorsing products that have been proven to be detrimental to health. The Court’s emphasis on this issue serves as a wakeup call for both the celebrities and the authorities responsible for regulating such endorsements.

Legal Ramifications and Contempt Proceedings

The legal proceedings, initiated by Advocate Motilal Yadav, are aimed at ensuring that appropriate action is taken against those who choose to promote harmful products. Yadav’s initiative demonstrates a proactive approach towards safeguarding public health, calling into question the ethics of these endorsements. The contempt notices issued to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Chief Commissioner of the Central Consumer Protection Authority Nidhi Khare further emphasize the gravity of the situation.

Ethical Responsibility of Celebrities

The endorsement of products by celebrities is a powerful marketing tool. However, when those endorsing the products are eminent figures like Padma awardees, the responsibility associated with such endorsements becomes even more crucial. The public often views these celebrities as role models, and their actions can significantly influence public behavior. As such, their decision to promote harmful products raises ethical concerns and potentially undermines public health initiatives.

The Role of Public Figures in Shaping Behavior

Public figures, including actors and performers, have the unique ability to shape public opinion and behavior. This influence comes with a responsibility to uphold the greater good. Endorsing products that are proven to be harmful contradicts this responsibility and can contribute to the normalizing of unhealthy behaviors. The Court’s action signifies a shift towards holding celebrities accountable for their choices, promoting a healthier and more responsible culture.

Impact on Public Health

The consequences of promoting Gutkha and Pan Masala products are not confined to mere commercial gains. These products have been linked to various health issues, including oral cancers, addiction, and other adverse health effects. The glamorization of such products by celebrities only serves to exacerbate the problem. The High Court’s intervention acknowledges the potential harm caused by these endorsements and underscores the importance of prioritizing public health over profits.

Legal Precedent and Future Implications

The action taken by the High Court can potentially set a legal precedent for similar cases in the future. As public awareness about the harmful effects of such endorsements grows, it is likely that more individuals and organizations will seek legal remedies against celebrities and authorities responsible for these promotions. This, in turn, can lead to a more stringent framework for regulating celebrity endorsements and ensuring the protection of public health.


The High Court’s decision to take action against Padma winners promoting Gutkha and Pan Masala products reflects a pivotal moment in the realm of celebrity endorsements. It sends a clear message that ethical responsibilities must not be overshadowed by commercial interests. The celebrities in question, who have enjoyed significant public adoration, now face a reckoning that goes beyond fame and fortune. This step by the Court emphasizes the importance of aligning celebrity influence with societal welfare and public health.

In conclusion, the legal proceedings against Padma awardees who promote harmful products indicate a growing awareness of the ethical and health implications of celebrity endorsements. The action taken by the Court signifies a shift towards a more responsible and accountable approach in the entertainment industry. As society evolves, it is imperative that celebrities recognize the influence they wield and make conscientious decisions that contribute positively to the well-being of their fans and the general public.


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