HC refuses to ban Jaya biopic, says right to privacy cannot be inherited

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HC refuses to ban Jaya biopic, says right to privacy cannot be inherited

HC refuses to ban Jaya biopic says right to privacy cannot be inherited

Observing that a deceased person’s right to privacy cannot be inherited like a movable or immovable property by legal heirs, the Madras High Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Deepa, niece of late former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, challenging the release of Tamil movie Thalaivi and web series Queen.

A division bench comprising Justice R Subbiah and Justice Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup holding that privacy or reputation earned by a person during his or her lifetime, extinguishes with his or her death, said: “We think that ‘posthumous right’ is not an ‘alienable right’ and the appellant (Deepa) is not entitled to an injunction on the ground that the ‘posthumous right’ of her aunt is sought to be sullied by the respondents because of the release of the film”.

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Also, on pointing out that the movie in question is yet to be released, the bench said: “Even prior to that, the appellant is not entitled to seek an injunction on the ground that her aunt has been depicted in the movie badly and thereby her image and reputation is attempted to be brought down.”

“Such a contention cannot be countenanced before the movie is to be released. Its release is subject to the certification to be given by the CBFC after going through the contents of the movie,” the bench held.

HC refuses to ban Jaya biopic, says right to privacy cannot be inherited

Regarding the web series Queen where Deepa alleged that certain scenes portrayed the former CM in poor light, the bench held that besides submission by the producer that the series is inspired by true events and it is dramatised and fictional, there is a ‘disclaimer’ stating it is not a biography depicting any character. “If the appellant is aggrieved by the portrayal of the former CM or her family members in the web series, the appellant can seek appropriate legal remedy for damages,” the bench said.

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