Free Press Journal

HC restrains Mumbai firm from using Rajinikanth name


Chennai: The Madras High Court today restrained a Mumbai-based film production company from using name, image, caricature and style of delivering dialogues of superstar Rajinikanth in its proposed film titled “Main Hoon Rajinikanth”.

Allowing an application by Rajinikanth, Justice R Subbiah upheld the court’s September 17 last interim orders restraining Varsha Productions from using the actor’s name in any manner in the film.

The judge said the company was not entitled to use the name without Rajinikanth’s permission.

Submitting that the film has scenes of immoral nature, the actor filed a suit seeking Rs 25 lakh as damages and an application seeking to restrain the company from using his name in any manner whatsoever amounting to infringement of copyright.

During the earlier hearing on September 17, 2014, the court had issued the interim injunction restraining the company from using the name of Rajinikanth till further orders.

In his final order on the application today, the judge referring to a judgment of Bombay High Court observed “If any person uses the name of a celebrity without his/her permission the celebrity is entitled for injunction, if said celebrity could be easily identified by the use of his name by others.

“In the instant case, on seeing the name of Rajinikanth in the title of the impugned movie, the persons who are coming across the title of the impugned movie, are identifying the name only with the petitioner herein, which is evident from the website pages hosted by different persons,” he said.

“Therefore, in my opinion, even assuming for a moment that the impugned movie is not a biopic of petitioner, since the name found in the title of the impugned movie is identifiable only with the petitioner who happens to be a celebrity and with any other person, the production company is not entitled to use the said name without the permission of Rajinikanth, particularly when he had chosen to advertise the movie with a title ‘Hot Kavita Radhesyam as sex Worker for Rajinikanth’.

The judge noted that the production company recently released web articles and posters and various press releases and video releases about “Main Hoon Rajinikanth” in which it has exploited the superhero image portrayed by Rajinikanth in various movies for its benefit by embodying the same in the picture which has scenes of immoral nature which has come to the notice of the actor.

Rajinikanth issued a legal notice to the film company which was, however, returned by it. Hence he approached the court by way of the civil suit.