The Kerala government has ordered a probe against an electronic goods shop in the state that advertised a bizarre commercial promising customers 'cashback of up to ₹50,000 without GST' if they tested coronavirus positive within 24 hours of shopping.
The shop circulated a promotional message through newspapers, digital, and other electronic mediums across the state, stating the validity of the offer from August 15 up till August 30.
Alarmed by the situation, a lawyer and counsellor of Pala Municipality in Kottayam, Binu Pulikkakkandam approached the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and submitted a plea stating the offer as unlawful and punishable.
Bino in his plea also mentioned that there is a high risk of a COVID-19 positive patient visiting the store by hiding his health conditions and later claiming the cashback, and majorly putting others life at risk.
"Those without sound financial backgrounds might be forced to get COVID-19 infection in order to earn so much money. It is a massive appeal to spread the contagious disease intentionally. The business owner has forgotten social responsibility while aiming to flourish his business," Binu's plea as quoted by News18.
He asked the government to book the outlet under IPC Section 269, Information Technology Act of 2020, Section 89 of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and the health norms of the Kerala Municipality Act. Soon after the matter came into the attention of the CM, the police reached the place and shut the outlet. The probe has now been launched against them.
The state recorded the largest single-day spike in coronavirus cases on August 17, reporting 1,725 new cases.