SRK is arrogant, above the law: Anti-smoking watchdog
"My main grievance is his arrogant demeanour with which he time and again decides to trample the law and smoke in places where he can be viewed and emulated by thousands of viewers when he can smoke privately," said Shekhar Salkar, General Secretary, NOTE.
Salkar said that Shah Rukh's recent smoking in a stadium in Jaipur during IPL indicates 'his careless attitude towards his responsibilities as an influential personality.'
Recommending tobacco eradication counselling for the film star, NOTE has said that smoking is a very powerful addiction and in spite of him repeatedly stating his desire to quit, he hasn't been able to kick the butt.
"In my personal opinion he would never be able to because of his all-knowing haughty persona," Salkar said.
NOTE, in the past, had filed a case against Amitabh Bachchan for promoting smoking through posters of his movie 'Family'. The superstar had admitted his mistake and assured not to repeat it.
"A similar incident happened with Ajay Devgn in Goa and after sending him a letter by NOTE, he was very gracious in accepting his mistake and his recent visits to Goa have not seen him smoking in public," he said.
Responding to a question whether celebrities should be fined more than general public for violating anti-tobacco laws, Salkar said, "morally it looks ethical and feasible but we live in a democratic country in which each citizen is considered equal," adding, "habitual offenders should be given harsher punishments and after three monetary fines in increasing levels. A repeat offence should be punishable for at least one day behind the bars." He said this would deter the often habitual offenders like film stars who usually think they are above the law and for whom the nominal fine is not a big deal.
Two years back, NOTE had suggested that for first-time offenders, the Rs 200 fine levied was reasonable but the second time around it should be Rs 500 and the third time, Rs 1,000.
"In cases involving violation of law in hotel premises or public places, the manager of the hotel should be fined a minimum Rs 5,000 which will ensure a more disciplined approach," Salkar suggested.
Jaipur court has asked Shah Rukh Khan to appear before it on May 26 following complaint by Anand Singh, head of the Jaipur Cricket Academy, who had sought action against the actor under section 5/11 of Rajasthan Prohibition of Smoking Act, 2000, which prohibits smoking in public places.
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