June 25, 2021 1:55:30 pm
The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to stay the release of the film ‘Nyay: The Justice’ — which is reportedly based on the life of late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput — on OTT platforms and cinema halls.
Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh stated in an appeal that the movie has been released on an “obscure” website and sought a stay on its release on any other OTT platform and in cinema halls.
The vacation bench of division bench of Justices Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Jasmeet Singh, while issuing a notice for July 14 to the respondents in the appeal filed by Singh, said there was no allegation of copyright violation and prima facie nothing to show that there would be “any detrimental effect” on Rajput’s reputation by production of movies about his life.
“You have not written a script or a story which has been used by the filmmaker. There is nothing that they have or they could have had…except what is available in the public domain. There is no unholy or prurient interest in the life story because the man’s life was an exceptional life…therefore, something which the public would be interested in. It is a plausible thing for a movie and they have made a movie,” the court stated.
The bench added there does not seem to be any interference in the investigation because of the production of movies on Rajput’s life. “Is it your case that life story of that celebrity is itself copyrightable which is nothing in material form?” asked the court.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing Singh, argued that Rajput was an extremely successful actor and the filmmakers were unlawfully exploiting his public persona and life story. “There is a right of a father to protect the reputation of his dead son,” Salve argued.
The court was earlier told that the movie was released on ‘lapalaporiginal.com’ and its mobile app on June 11.
A single-bench had earlier dismissed the application filed by Singh seeking injunction against various movies reportedly being made on Rajput’s life, claiming that the story of the actor was being commercially exploited. The court on June 10 held that “artistic freedom to create fictional works cannot be controlled”.
Singh, in his suit before the single-bench, had argued that any depiction of the private life of his son would be a blatant and wilful breach of his fundamental right to privacy. “It is also the apprehension of the plaintiff that the said movie has been launched in a planned and orchestrated manner by close confidants of accused persons alleged in case of abetment of suicide to influence a pending investigation, witness and other officials,” Singh had written in the petition.
The plea also stated that Singh was apprehensive that various plays, movies, web-series, books, interviews or other material may be published which would harm his late son’s and his family’s reputation.
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