“Main Hoon Rajinikanth” case: Madras High Court stays release

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The Madras High Court has stayed the release of “Main Hoon Rajinikanth” on Friday while also restraining Mumbai-based film production company Varsha Productions from using the name, image, caricature and style of delivering dialogues of superstar Rajinikanth.

Justice R Subbiah upheld court’s last interim orders restraining Varsha Productions from using the actor’s name in any manner in the film and said that the company was not entitled to use the name without Rajinikanth’s permission.

Rajinikanth had filed a suite against the production house stating that the film has scenes of immoral nature and had demanded Rs 25 lakh as damages. Beyond that the superstar had also urged the court to restrain the company from using his name in any manner whatsoever amounting to infringement of copyright.

In his final order on the application today, Justice R Subbiah 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.

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