Bombay High Court slams Shaadi Ke Director Karan aur Johar makers for ‘targeting’ Karan Johar, restrains release till…

Bombay Hight Court restrains the makers of Shaadi Ke Director Karan aur Johar from using Karan Johar's name in the title, movie.

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Bombay High Court slams Shaadi Ke Director Karan aur Johar makers for ‘targeting’ Karan Johar, restrains release till…
Shaadi Ke Director Karan aur Johar's release restrained

The Bombay High Court in an interim order on Thursday restrained the makers of the movie “Shaadi ke Director Karan aur Johar” from using filmmaker Karan Johar’s name and his personal attributes in the title or in the movie noting that such unauthorized use violated his fundamental rights.

A single bench of Justice R I Chagla said the movie shall not be released in theatres or on any social media platform until Karan Johar’s name and reference to his personal attributes are deleted from the title and from the movie. The movie was scheduled to release on June 14.

The court noted, prima facie, the makers of the movie are targeting Karan Johar and that usage of his name and personal attributes without permission was violative of the filmmaker’s fundamental rights and his personality rights. Karan Johar had moved HC seeking a permanent injunction and restraining order against the movie’s producers IndiaPride Advisory and Sanjay Singh and writer and director Bablu Singh from using his name in the title of the movie.

Johar’s counsel Zal Andhyarjuna said the filmmaker’s name was being used unauthorizedly and that the defendants (makers of the film) had a malafide intention to obtain unjust and unlawful gain by using the name. Johar, in his plea filed through DSK Legal, also said the makers were using his goodwill and reputation without permission. The bench, while allowing Johar’s interim application, said the movie’s title uses the word director and also the names Karan and Johar.

“The title says director…it has to refer to him (Karan Johar). I saw the trailer. The names Karan and Johar do not refer to two different persons. Prima facie, it seems they (makers of the movie) are targeting him (Johar). His celebrity status is undoubted. There are number of films he has made and produced that are all box office hits,” Justice Chagla said. The bench noted that such unauthorized usage of a person’s name or his or her personal attributes was in fact violative of fundamental rights.

“One cannot use a person’s name without his or her permission. That is violative of their fundamental rights,” the court said. Justice Chagla said a strong prima facie case had been made out to protect Johar’s personality rights, considering he has the status of a celebrity that is apparent from the several blockbuster movies he has directed and produced. “There is no manner of doubt that Karan Johar has played a great role in transforming the Bollywood industry and has launched several persons as actors,” Justice Chagla said.

“I am of the prima facie view that the movie is a direct reference to the plaintiff (Johar) and makes unauthorized/unlawful use of his name,” he added. The court said the defendants (makers of the movie) have to be stopped from making unauthorized use of Johar’s name so that his personality rights and fundamental rights are not violated. The court also noted that the defendants have failed to appear despite notices issued to them by the plaintiff.

“It is obvious from the defendants’ conduct that they have not bothered to contest the claims made by Karan Johar as well as appear before this court,” HC said. The court posted the suit for further hearing on July 10.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from PTI

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