Delhi High Court seeks info on release of movie ‘based on Sushant Singh Rajput’s life’

Query comes after Rajput’s father and the film-makers gave contradictory statements

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought to know if a movie titled ‘Nyay: The Justice’, based on the late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s life has been released on June 11.

A Vacation Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Justice Jasmeet Singh made the query after Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh and the makers of the movies gave contradictory statements in court.

While Rajputs’ father claimed that the movie has not yet been released, the makers of the film claimed that it was released on OTT (Over The Top) platform on June 11.

“A lot depends on whether the movie has been released or not. If it has been released, the matter can wait for the Roster Bench. If it has not been released, the court may be inclined to hear it now,” the Vacation Bench said.

Fresh appeal

The High Court’s direction came on a fresh appeal filed by Rapjut’s father challenging an HC’s order refusing to stay the release of the movie or to restrain anyone from using his son’s name or likeness in movies.

The Vacation Bench was of the view that if the movie has been released, it cannot be reversed. “The bell cannot be unrung,” it said.

Senior advocate Jayant K. Mehta, representing Rajput’s father, said he was instructed that the movie has not been released yet. However, senior advocate Chander Lall, representing the film-makers, said the film has been released on an OTT platform on June 11.

On June 6, the HC had refused to stay the release of the film noting that the information of events around the actor’s death was already in the public domain and “posthumous privacy right is not permissible”.

The court had said that Rajput’s father can be compensated by award of damages, if he is later able to prove in trial that “celebrity/publicity rights were inheritable and inured to him exclusively”.

More films

Apart from Nyay: The Justice, there are three other films in the making on SSR’s life. These include — ‘Suicide or Murder: A star was lost’, ‘Shashank’ and an untitled crowd-funded movie.

SSR’s father had sought to restrain the release of the film claiming that he is entitled to a fair trial relating to the unnatural death of his son.

The court, however, did not find “merit in the contention” saying that he was not able to demonstrate as to how the films would impair the fairness in investigation or trial. “In fact, the accused persons who are named in the FIR or are being investigated have not come forward claiming prejudice,” the court remarked.

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