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No Stay On Use Of Sushant Singh Rajput's Name & Image For Movies; Delhi High Court Refuses Father's Plea

Shreya Agarwal
10 Jun 2021 5:17 AM GMT
Sushant Singh Rajput Biopics

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed an application filed by Sushant Singh Rajput's father Krishna Kishore Singh seeking to restrain filmmakers from using the name, lifestyle or likeness of the late actor in proposed movies on his life.

A single bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula refused to grant ex-parte, ad-interim injunction to restrain filmmakers from using Sushant Singh Rajput's name, caricature, lifestyle or likeness in their forthcoming films or projects.

Sushant Singh Rajput's father has filed a civil suit against the proposed biopics on the late actor's life.

The Court has however directed the defendants in the suit - the makers of the proposed biopics - to submit that all details of royalty, licensing, profits made from the movies being to the Joint Registrar.

The Court has also issued notice on an application filed by the defendants seeking the rejection of the plaint under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC. The issue of rejection of plaint will be considered by the Court later.

"The Plaintiff has an adequate remedy of being compensated by award of damages, if the Plaintiff proves in trial that the celebrity/publicity rights were inheritable and inured to him exclusively. To ensure that, the Defendants are directed to render complete and true accounts of the revenue earned from the films by way of sale/licensing of all rights relating to the films", the Court said.

In April, a single judge bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri of the Delhi High Court had issued notice on the petition Sushant's father, seeking a ban on the release of any movie on the actor's life.

Alleging the violation of right to privacy, and "passing off", the petition stated that in light of recent news articles and publications regarding movies and other ventures depicting his personal life, name/images/caricature/lifestyle/likeness in form of biopic or story, "any such publication, production, or depiction of the private life of the late actor is a blatant and wilful breach of the fundamental right to privacy which includes right to publicity".

The petitioner, the late actor's father, stated that the same cannot be undertaken without the prior approval of his legal heir - i.e. his own approval.

Singh also apprehended that the said movie had been launched in an "orchestrated manner" by close confidants of the persons accused in his abatement of suicide case against them, to influence a pending investigation.

Further, Singh had stated that any use/misuse of Sushant's name/image/caricature/ lifestyle or information from his personal life amounts to infringement of his "personality right" amounting to passing off.

Singh had moved the petition based upon news reports on movies titled "Nyay: The Justice", "Suicide or Murder: A Star Was Lost", and "Shashank" which allegedly depict Sushant's story, claiming that these movies will interfere with the investigation of the case.

He had prayed for an order restraining the defendants from using or advertising or making references, in any manner, to Sushant's name/caricature /lifestyle or likeness in their forthcoming projects/films.

Case : Krishna Kishore Singh v Sarla S Sarogi and others.

Click here to read/download the order

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