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New Delhi: Ed-tech major Byju’s has paused all adverts featuring Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan amid the ongoing investigation against his son Aryan Khan in a drug bust probe. According to a report in Economic Times, Byju’s stopped all ads over the last few days for which it had made advance bookings after the company came under fire on social media platforms like Twitter.

While Byju’s is one of the largest sponsorship deals for Shah Rukh Khan, the megastar is also the face for a number of companies like Hyundai, LG, Dubai Tourism, and Reliance Jio among others.

The ET report says Byju’s pays Rs 3-4 crore annually to Khan to endorse the brand. The actor has been a brand ambassador of the brand since 2017.

India’s biggest startup, Byju’s, growth has been tremendous in the last few years with a spate of acquisitions including brick and mortar coaching institute, Aakash Institute.

The report said Byju’s pulled SRK ads as the company would not like to be associated with the actor given the controversy around Khan’s son. However, it is not clear if the company has dropped the actor as its brand ambassador altogether.

Byju’s was valued at a whopping $16.5 billion in April and it is reportedly in talks with investors to raise around $1.5 billion at a valuation of $20-21 billion. The company’s founder Byju Ravindran and family is valued Rs 24,300 crore, according to IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2021.

Aryan Khan and seven others were accused caught in a drug bust on a cruise ship ‘Cordelia’ sailing from Mumbai to Goa last week. The raids conducted by undercover Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sleuths produced a haul of 13 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of Hashish, 22 pills of MDMA and 5 grams of MD, the anti-drugs agency said, according to news agency PTI.

The 23-year-old was denied bail by Magistrate’s court and will spend the weekend in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail. His bill plea was also denied; the court on Friday said it was “non-maintainable” agreeing with NCB that since drugs were seized, a sessions court must hear the case. 

The NCB had admitted that no drugs were recovered from Khan’s person. But his chats on WhatsApp were incriminating, the anti-drug agency argued that he was supplied drugs by one Archit Kumar, another person arrested in the bust.

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