No relief to ‘celeb’ Chhota Rajan’s plea on ‘Scoop’, Bombay HC adjourns matter to June 7
On Friday, the Bombay High Court adjourned the hearing of a suit without granting any reliefs, filed by jailed mafia don Chhota Rajan, concerning intellectual property rights (IPR), seeking to restrain the release of the new Netflix series ‘Scoop‘, till June 7.
Vacation Judge Justice Shivkumar G Dige said that the series has already released on Friday and it’s already published and issued notice to all the parties concerned for their replies and posted the matter for further hearing on June 7
During the hearing, Justice Dige asked Chhota Rajan’s counsel, Senior Advocate Mihir Desai how it was maintainable as a “commercial intellectual property rights” suit.
Desai replied that his client has a copyright on his image which none can use and the court asked him to amend his suit accordingly to show how it was a matter of IPR.
Netflix’s Senior Advocate Ravi Kadam argued that the plea was not maintainable to which Desai countered by saying that everyone’s image in ‘Scoop’ has been altered barring Chhota Rajan whose face is shown as the one behind the (Dey) murder.
While admitting that his client was convicted in the (Dey) case, Desai said his appeal is still pending and how could he be shown as guilty before the world like this.
Chhota Rajan’s lawyer argued that “there are celebrity rights also”, and claimed that celebrity doesn’t only mean a popular person and even unpopular persons can also be a celeb, and since lakhs are going to watch (‘Scoop’), it could pose problems and affect his appeal against the conviction.
On June 1, the gangster had moved the Bombay HC alleging infringement of his personality rights by the makers of the series and seeking token damage of Re 1, on the eve of the release of ‘Scoop’.
In his suit, Chhota Rajan contended that in the trailer of the six-episode ‘Scoop’, made by National Award winner filmmaker Hansal Mehta, he has been referred to by his name, image, voice, and other unrelated things associated with him.
He claimed that the tele-series trailer was released across all media allegedly portraying him as the main mastermind behind the killing of Mumbai journo, Investigations Editor of Mid-Day tabloid, Jyotirmoy Dey on June 11, 2011.
Pointing out that his appeal against the life-term sentence in the Dey case was pending before the Bombay High Court, Rajan said that the trial court’s conviction order could not be used in a defamatory manner to tarnish his name and reputation, with the sole intention to make profits by any third person, particularly without his consent.
Earlier, the gangster had slapped a legal notice to Netflix and the tele-series producers to stop the release, but they were unfazed and asked to approach the courts with his grievance.
Rajan has sought a stay on the release of the trailer on all media platforms, online or in theatres, permanent deletion of the trailer from all media platforms, and restrain the producers and Netflix from directly/ indirectly exploiting his name, image, and infringing upon his personality rights, not to make any reference about him in interviews or any other mode of public communication and damages of Re 1 or to reveal the true revenues generated by the series.
On Thursday, IANS carried a detailed report on the eve of the release of ‘Scoop’ which is based on the memoirs of one of the co-accused in the Dey murder case, journalist Jigna Vora, who was later acquitted.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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