The Delhi High Court has refused to stay the release of a movie – ‘Nyay: The Justice’, due to release tomorrow – based on the life of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide in June last year.
The court dismissed a petition by the actor’s father, Krishna Kishore Singh, who claimed the movie had been shot without the family’s consent and launched in an “orchestrated manner” by confidantes of persons accused of a role in the suicide.
The bench led by Justice Sanjeev Narula also asked the movie producers to maintain accounts.
In April the Delhi High Court had asked the producers of various movies – proposed and being filmed at the time – to respond to Sushant Rajput’s father’s plea; he had sought to restrain anyone from using his son’s name or likeness on the silver screen.
Apart from ‘Nyay: The Justice’, other forthcoming movies that revolve around Sushant Rajput’s life are ‘Suicide or Murder: A Star Was Lost’, ‘Shashank’ and an as-yet unnamed crowd-funded project.
“Defendants (filmmakers), taking advantage of the situation, have been trying to encash this opportunity… plays, movies, web-series, books, interviews or other material may be published which would harm the reputation of the son of the plaintiff and his family,” the petition argued.
The petition sought Rs 2 crore damages for “loss of reputation, mental trauma and harassment”.
It also claimed that in case a “movie, web-series, book or any other content of similar nature is allowed to be published or broadcasted, it would affect the right of the victim and deceased for a free and fair trial as it may cause prejudice to them”.
Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, a popular Bollywood star, was found dead at his Mumbai apartment on June 14.
Investigations into his death soon became mired in a series of controversies, including a politically-charged stand-off between Bihar and Mumbai Police, and devolved into a multi-agency probe that saw the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate and the Narcotics Control Bureau all file separate cases.
Last month the Narcotics Bureau, which is probing alleged links between drug smuggling and the film industry, arrested Sushant Rajput’s roommate – Siddharth Pithani – who was among four people present at the actor’s home when he was found dead.
An IT professional, Mr Pithani had spoken to various news channels about the actor’s last moments and was grilled by various agencies over his version.
So far, 34 people including Sushant Rajput’s girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, and her brother Showik have been charged in the drugs case that emerged as part of the investigations.
With input from PTI