High Court orders to ban using 'Rajinikanth'

Madras High Court has ordered a permanent stay on releasing the Hindi film 'Main Hoon Rajinikanth' featuring Tamil Superstar Rajanikanth.

'Personality right vests on those persons who have attained the status of celebrity,' Justice R Subbiah said and granted a permanent injunction on the release of the movie.

In September 2014, the actor approached the court to stall the screening of a movie 'Main Hoon Rajinikanth', named after him. Subsequently, the court admitted the actor's suit and stayed imminent release of the film.

The case was Rajini invoked a concept of 'personality rights' and protection against its infringement. The actor's petition also explained how without seeking any prior consent written or oral, using his name can mislead the huge fan base that the superstar had today.

In the order, which was passed on Tuesday, Justice Subbiah said 'Infringement of right of publicity requires no proof of falsity, confusion, or deception, especially when the celebrity is identifiable.

'On seeing the title of the movie, it could be easily inferred that the public perspective about the film appears to be only with reference to Rajinikanth alone, and not connected with any other person.'

Holding the film's producer guilty of unauthorized use of Rajinikanth's name and reputation in the film, the judge granted the permanent order against its release. In his petition, Rajinikanth dwelt at length about his stature and stated policy of not endorsing any product or film or write-up using his name or personality, as it might end up misleading his huge devoted fan base.

'Rajinikanth's irrefutable acting ability, charisma, distinct personal style, mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogue in films have contributed to his mass popularity and appeal. 'His popularity as coming from his larger-than-life appearance in many films, supported by gravity-defying stunts and charismatic expressions/dialogues which often attain cult status, whilst preferring to maintain humility and simplicity in real life,' the application said.

The petition further said that a large section of the public across India is, therefore, likely to be misled into viewing such project/film on the mere belief the said project/film has been approved by their matinee idol.


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