Actor-director-producer Arbaaz Khan got into the national spotlight this week with the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of Thane Crime Branch summoning him over betting in Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.
When Arbaaz confessed to the police that he had placed IPL bets, there was a huge uproar in the media.
Discussions in the mainstream media followed heated debates among Arbaaz’s megastar brother Salman Khan fans and haters on social media. Meanwhile, rumors stating that Arbaaz Khan’s relationship with Salman is not doing well, only add fuel to fire — though Arbaaz was Salman’s bodyguard Shera when he went for the questioning.
However, it seems that the media jumped the gun in favor of the scandal. Just as it often happens in Salman’s cases, the media was too eager to pan the actor’s brother. Latest reports reveal that though Arbaaz Khan admitted to placing bets, he claimed that no monies exchanged hands with the betting bookie in question. Resultantly, the police will not file a case against him.
An AEC official has said,
“We are yet to take a call on Arbaaz’s statement, but as there was no exchange of money. He can be a good witness for us. As per the Gambling Act, we can’t make him an accused as he never paid anything, nor took any money.”
We asked Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar about the media’s eagerness to grill and pronounce actors guilty. He said, in this matter, both the parties were only doing their job.
“While Arbaaz Khan proved to be a dutiful citizen, the vibrant media proved to be on their toes with reporting. The good part is, the truth came out fast, without Arbaaz being persecuted with trial-by-media and without the issue and speculations being dragged for long,”
remarked the Bollywood publicist.