Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Delhi High Court refuses to stay streaming of movie about Sushant Singh Rajput

The Delhi High Court has said no to passing any injunction order against a movie that was based on the life of late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

The movie Nyay: The Justice revolves around a boy called Mahinder Singh who comes to tinsel town with the youthful innocence and exuberance associated with small towns.

His sheer perseverance, dexterity and histrionics makes him earn the admiration of both critics and fans. His intellect, the choice of scripts not only makes him lock horns with the high and mighty but also a thorn in their flesh.

The matter was put before Justice C Hari Shankar who said that Rajput’s personality rights as well as rights of privacy and publicity got extinguished with his death and these rights are not inheritable to be espoused by his father.

The Court has rejected a plea by Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh seeking a stay on the continued streaming of the film on an Over-The-Top (OTT) platform called Lapalap Original.

The movie was released in June 2021.

As per the court, the impugned film has information derived from items which featured in the media and, therefore, constitute publicly available information. 

He added that defendants had thus not violated any right of SSR, much less of the plaintiff, especially as the said information had not been questioned or challenged when it appeared in the media, either by SSR or by the plaintiff.

The Court also observed that the defendants were not required to obtain the consent of the plaintiff before making the movie.

In a detailed order, Justice Hari Shankar said that even if it is assumed that the film does infract the publicity rights of Rajout or defames him, the infracted right is personal to the actor, and cannot be said to have been inherited by his father.

The court said that the movie being based on information in the public domain, which, at the time of its original dissemination, was never challenged or questioned, cannot be sought to be injuncted at this distance of time, especially when it has already been released on the Lapalap platform a while ago and must have been seen, by now, by thousands.

The Court said that as the movie had already streamed, it cannot pass an order. The COurt added that it has already been released and must have been seen by thousands of people.

The Court concluded that the movie cannot be said to be infracting Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India. Injuncting further dissemination of the movie would, therefore, infract the defendants‘ rights under Article 19(1)(a).


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