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Right to Privacy cannot be inherited: Madras HC on the release of Jayalalitha’s Biopics

The former Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s niece, J. Deepa filed a petition in court seeking the order of injunction against the release of her biopics, Thaliva and Queen saying that the consent of Jayalalitha was not taken for the same.

The film Thaliva stars Kangana Ranaut and Arvind Swami and is directed by A.L. Vijay and produced by Vishnu Vardhan Induri, who contended against the appeal that there was no obligation on the part of the film-makers to obtain the appellant’s consent before making a movie on her aunt’s life.

The two judge bench of Justices R. Subbiah and Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup agreed with the arguments extended by the film makers. They further contended that the rights such as right to privacy and right to reputation cannot be extended posthumously. After the death of the person, these claims cannot be made.

The judgement further focused around the fact that the movie has not even been released yet and its release would not take place without the careful scrutiny of content by the Central Board of film Certificate.

“those who hold important positions must have shoulders which are broad enough to accept with grace a critique of themselves and critical appraisal is the cornerstone of democracy. The power of the film as a medium of expression lies in its ability to contribute to that appraisal and the film-maker cannot be compelled to portray only a particular version of the facts.” the judgement read.

In pertinence to the injunction sought against the web series Queen, the court said that the show has been released long ago, and hence, the injunction cannot be granted. The bench further agreed with Defence’s assertion that the show is not a biography but an inspiring story from the life of a person.

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