Bombay HC Restrains Use Of Karan Johar’s Name And Personality Attributes

Bombay HC Restrains Use Of Karan Johar’s Name And Personality Attributes

The judge said that the movie’s title used the terms director, Karan and Johar.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, June 14, 2024, 01:32 AM IST
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Karan Johar |

Noting that noted filmmaker Karan Johar was being targeted and his fundamental rights were violated, the Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained the makers of the movie "Shaadi ke Director Karan aur Johar" from using his name and his personal attributes in the title or in the movie.

The court has directed that the movie shall not be released in theatres or any social media platform until 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.

Justice Riyaz Chagla while granting interim relief in favour of Johar notes that prima facie the makers of the movie are targeting Johar and usage of his name and personal attributes without permission was violative of his fundamental rights and his personality rights.

The HC was hearing a suit by Johar 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.

His counsel Zal Andhyarjuna said Johar's name was being used unauthorizedly and that the makers of the film had a malafide intention to obtain unjust and unlawful gain by using Johar's name.

Johar’s plea contended the makers were using his goodwill and reputation without permission.

The judge said that the movie’s title used the terms director, 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,” Justice Chagla said. “Prima facie, it seems they (makers of the movie) are targeting him (Johar). His celebrity status is undoubted. There are a number of films he has made and produced that are all box office hits."

The court added that a person’s name cannot be used without his or her permission.A strong prima facie case had been made out to protect Johar's personality rights, considering that he has a status of a celebrity that is apparent from the several blockbuster movies he has directed and produced, the court added. 

“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 added. 

“I am of the prima facie view that the movie is a direct reference to the plaintiff (Johar) and makes unauthorised / unlawful use of his name,” Justice Chagla said adding that the defendants have to be stopped from making unauthorised use of Johar's name so that his personality rights and fundamental rights are not violated.

The court said that the defendants have failed to appear despite giving them notices and kept the matter for hearing on July 10. 

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