Since the unveiling of Sarkar’s first-look poster, the team has faced much criticism because lead actor Vijay was seen posing with a cigarette. There was much debate on and off line, with some supporting the film and others opposing the poster. On Monday, the Madras High Court issued legal notices to the team following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate and tobacco control activist Cyril Alexander, who also runs the NGO Tamil Nadu People’s Forum for Tobacco Control.
According to a report in The News Minute, the court has directed actor Vijay, director AR Murugadoss, production house Sun Pictures and the State and Central governments to respond in two weeks.
It was earlier reported that Cyril Alexander was planning to sue the actor. In his PIL, he demanded that the producer, actor and director pay Rs. 10 crore each to the cancer treatment centre at the Government Royapettah Hospital, Chennai.
However, a spokesperson for the film said: “Anyone can file a case against anyone for anything. What matters is the court’s judgement. As far as I know, there is no such notice from the High Court. If there is such a notice, it will be announced officially. So far, we have received only one notice – from the Public Health Department.”
The controversy began when former Union Health Minister and PMK leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss criticised Vijay on Twitter for posing with a cigarette.
As reported earlier, the Public Health Department issued notices to Vijay, director AR Murugadoss and the production house to take down all promotional images featuring the actor smoking from all platforms. It was also said that the Department would review all actions taken by Sarkar team to remove those posters. Later, Chennai-based advocate Tamilvendan filed a complaint in the Chennai Police Commissioner’s Office against actor Vijay and director AR Murugadoss for releasing a poster promoting smoking.