Delhi HC restrains use of Amitabh Bachchan’s pictures, voice and name without his consent

Court says misuse of personality rights could cause irreparable loss to him

November 26, 2022 03:44 am | Updated 03:44 am IST - New Delhi

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. File

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Delhi High Court on Friday passed an interim order restraining persons at large from infringing the personality and publicity rights of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. Mr. Bachchan approached the court seeking an omnibus order protecting his name, image, voice or any of his characteristics without his consent, in any way or form.

The order was passed by the Bench of Justice Navin Chawla who maintained that there is no doubt that the plaintiff is a well-known personality and is also represented in various advertisements. The judge added that such misuse of personality rights of the plaintiff by the defendants could cause irreparable loss to him.

In the suit of over 900 pages, the actor’s lawyer Harish Salve stated that Mr. Bachchan’s name, image and voice are being used by several websites, instant messaging apps, mobile application developers and even T-shirt manufacturers. The counsel maintained that none of those mentioned in the plea have ever taken any kind of consent from his client.

“Someone is using his picture and selling lottery while the other person is using his voice for mobile app. One is using his image to sell G.K. books. I am giving you an idea that what is going on,” Mr. Salve told the court.

In his prayer, the actor pleaded that the court pass a decree of permanent injunction restraining the defendants, their associates, servants, agents, affiliates, holding companies, group entities, their subscribers, employee etc., from infringing the plaintiff’s personality/publicity rights by the use of his names Amitabh Bachchan, Big B, AB, Bachchan, voice, image, any other attribute which is exclusively identifiable with him.

“Only the plaintiff has control over the commercial utilisation of his personality and public rights like his name, voice, image and other characteristics that are uniquely identifiable and associated with him. No one can use them without his consent,” the plea stated.

The actor also requested the court to pass an order for damages to the tune of ₹2 crore in his favour and against the defendants, on account of loss of his goodwill and reputation. The plea sought an order to DoT and MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) to pull down all links and websites that infringe upon the personality rights of Mr. Bachchan.

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