Actor Amitabh Bachchan’s name, photo, voice or any other attributes that define him cannot be used for personal or commercial gains without his permission, the Delhi High Court directed on Friday, reported Live Law.
Justice Navin Chawla passed the interim order on a plea filed by the actor seeking protection of his publicity rights against the Kaun Banega Crorepati lottery scam and other online frauds where his photo and voice are being misused to deceive the public.
“I am of the opinion that the plaintiff has been able to make out a prima facie case in his favour,” Chawla said. “The balance of convenience also lies in favour of plaintiff and against the defendants.”
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Bachchan, began his arguments by showing the High Court details about a lottery by the name of All India sim card WhatsApp lucky draw, reported Bar and Bench.
“Lucky draw holder name – Amitabh Bachchan and Mukesh Ambani,” he told the High Court, adding that complaints have been filed that the lottery advertisement was a scam.
After citing another example of online fraud that uses Bachchan’s name, Salve said: “I am just giving a flavour of what is going on. Someone is making t-shirts and started putting his face on them. Someone is selling his poster. Someone has gone and registered a domain name, amitabhbachchan.com. This is why we have come.”
In his suit, Bachchan has sought a John Doe order, or a ruling against unknown infringers, that are violating his publicity rights. He also sought an interim injunction stopping four of the defendants from transferring, alienating or creating any third party rights in respect to domain names amitabhbachchan.com and amitabhbachchan.in.
The High Court observed that the defendants seem to be using Bachchan’s celebrity status without his permission and their activities was bringing disrepute to the actor.
It also directed the Department of Telecommunications and the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to pull down the links provided by Bachchan and the telecom service providers to block access to all phone numbers used by the defendants to circulate messages that infringes the actor’s rights.