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Updated - Nov 3, 2020 5:34 pm
The Madurai bench of Madras High court comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalendhi served a legal notice to the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, former Indian captain and current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sourav Ganguly and film stars including Prakash Raj, Tammana, Rana and Sudip Khan for advertising the online sports apps.
The notices were issued in response to the case filed by an advocate Mohammed Rizvi. Rizvi had condemned the advertising of fantasy sports apps done by the reputed sports and film personalities after a few youngsters died by suicide in the state after losing money by participating in such apps.
Hearing the case, the Madurai bench questioned the credibility of such apps and hurled accusations on the owners for using famous personalities to lure common people into downloading these money making apps. Virat Kohli is the brand ambassador of Mobile Premier League (MPL) and while Sourav Ganguly advertises My11Circle. All the aforementioned names need to respond to this legal notice by November 19.
“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.
In the month of August also, a case was filed against the Indian cricket team captain for persuading common people to download 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 also termed such apps dangerous and had reckoned in his case that they violate Article 21 of the Constitution of India, as it infringes the right to life.
Interestingly, the case in Madras High Court was filed just after the Indian cricket board roped in the fantasy gaming platform MPL as the apparel sponsor of the Indian cricket team for a period of three years. MPL replaced Nike, who had a five-year deal from 2016 to 2020 and was paying a huge sum of Rs. 88 lakhs. MPL, on the other hand, has sealed the deal with the rate of Rs. 65 lakh per match. Also, another fantasy platform Dream11 is the title sponsor of the ongoing 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.