HC refuses to stay release of films on SSR’s life

The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to stay the release of several movies, purportedly based on the life of late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, including Nyay: The Justice which is scheduled to be released on Friday, saying these films are neither portrayed as biopic nor factual narration of what transpired in his life.
‘Posthumous privacy right is not permissible’, the high court said in its interim order on a plea by Rajput’s father to restrain such films. The court said it found merit in the submissions of producers and directors that if information of events which have occurred is already in the public domain, one cannot plead any violation of right to privacy on a movie inspired from such events. Some of the upcoming or proposed movie projects based on his son’s life are — Nyay: The Justice, Suicide or Murder: A star was lost, Shashank and an unnamed crowd-funded film.
Justice Sanjeev Narula dismissed the application by Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh seeking to restrain anyone from using his son’s name or likeness in movies, saying “the plaintiff has failed to satisfy the three-pronged test for grant of preemptory injunction to restrain exhibition of the films”.
The court, however, directed the filmmakers to render complete accounts of the revenue earned from the films, if any case of damages is made out in future and listed the suit for completion of pleading before the joint registrar. The court said the producers and directors claimed the films to be fictional rendition of true events surrounding the lives of film/TV personalities, including Rajput who was reportedly found dead at his home in Mumbai. The investigation is still on.
The court noted that senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Rajput’s father, has fleetingly argued that the right of free speech, in matters of news reporting, does not enjoy the same protection when it comes to matters of commercial exploitation. (PTI)

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