BCCI President Saurav Ganguly and Indian team skipper Virat Kohli are in trouble of endorsing and promoting online sports apps on Television and Social Media. The Madurai bench of Madras High court comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalendhi has served a legal notice to the Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly along with film stars Prakash Raj, Tammana, Rana and Sudip Khan for endorsing online sports apps and luring people into downloading these apps.
The notices have been issued after an advocate Mohammed Rizvi filed a case in Madurai. Rizvi filed the case when a few youngsters committed suicide after losing money on these apps. FYI, Virat Kohli and Saurav Ganguly are brand ambassadors of online betting companies Mobile Premier Leagues (MPL) and My11Circle respectively.
Last year, Bombay High Court ruled in the favour of Dream11 and other online sports companies, calling the online games more of a skill than gambling. In August also, a case was filed against the Virat Kohli for luring common people into downloading the sports fantasy apps.
A Chennai based lawyer had demanded an immediate ban on online gambling apps along with the arrest of the celebrities endorsing it. He had reckoned that such apps are dangerous and violate Article 21 of the Constitution of India as they infringe the right to life.
After hearing the case, Madras High Court issued the legal notices to aforementioned personalities asking them to answer the notice by November 19. Madras High Court also questioned the naming of franchises behind states. “Are these teams playing on behalf of the state?” questions Madras High Court
“The apps are in the name of IPL teams such as Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and some apps are also in the name of the state’s names. Are these teams playing on behalf of the state,” asked the bench as quoted by News18.
Interestingly, after VIVO and Nike backed out from sponsoring IPL 2020, the fantasy gaming platform Dream11 grabbed the title sponsorship of IPL and another platform MPL was roped in as the apparel sponsor of the Indian cricket team for a period of three years.