Gangster Chhota Rajan seeks stay on 'Scoop', ₹1 as damage for infringement of personality rights

Gangster Chhota Rajan seeks stay on 'Scoop', ₹1 as damage for infringement of personality rights

In June 2011, journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was killed. Journalist Jigna Vora was an accused in the case but was later acquitted. "Scoop", a six-episode Netflix series, is inspired by Vora's 2019 jail memoir.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, June 01, 2023, 11:06 PM IST
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Jailed underworld don Chhota Rajan is currently lodged in the Tihar jail. | Photo Credit: PTI

Mumbai: Gangster Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan, on Thursday, approached the Bombay High Court against producers and makers of the Netflix series 'Scoop' alleging infringement of personality rights and seeking ₹1 as damages. The series, which is slated for release on June 2, is based on the killing of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey in 2011. 

Rajan, who is presently lodged at the Tihar jail, sought a stay on the release of the series and an order to take down the trailer.

His suit states that the ''use or misuse of the attributes of his personality'' without his prior consent amounted to infringement of his ''personality rights'' as well as defamation.

He has sought a permanent injunction restraining the makers of the series, including Hansal Mehta and Netflix Entertainment Services India, from infringement of his personality rights. Rajan has also sought damages of ₹1 to be paid to him or for the makers to deposit the money earned by them through the telecast of the series' trailer, and for the amount to be used for “'public good or upliftment of the society'”. 

According to the suit, Rajan’s wife informed him last month about the trailer of the series. It claims that the makers of the series were never permitted to use/misuse Rajan's name and image, associate him to any voice and/or any events, without prior permission. “'Therefore, the use or misuse of the attributes of the plaintiff's (Rajan) personality, including his name, caricature, image, and/or any other direct/indirect reference, without receiving the prior consent of the plaintiff amounts to infringement of the plaintiff's personality rights, passing off as well as defamation,” the suit said.

Rajan has claimed in the suit that the makers of the series are monopolising his name and image.

''Moreover, the defendants (makers of the series) herein are also maligning the image of the plaintiff in the public eye by linking him to a false concocted storyline, with intention to commercially benefit from the same, which amounts to defamation,'' it added. 

Rajan had sent a legal notice to Netflix and the producers to stop the release of the series. However, Netflix replied refusing to back down from the release of the series prompting him to approach the High Court.

Journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was killed on June 11, 2011. Rajan and 11 others, including journalist Jigna Vora, were accused in the case. In May 2018, Rajan and eight others were convicted in the case. Vora was acquitted.

A six-episode Netflix series, Scoop, is inspired by Vora's 2019 jail memoir “Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison'”. 

The plea is likely to be heard by a vacation bench on June 2. 

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