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Personality Right Versus Social Responsibility Of A Celebrity

Personality Right has been hot cake these days. Recently various Judgments, where famous celebrity's right has been recognized. It is known as personality Right. Its means no one can copy the famous traits of a celebrity , without his consent.

Though Personality right has not been defined under any Act India , still it is protected under Article 21 of Constitution of India as right of celebrity towards his personality. Personality right may encompass many distinctive feature of a celebrity as a person and no body can copy that that.

Recently in Judgment namely 2015 (62) PTC 351 (Mad): Shivaji Rao Gaikwad Versus Varhsa Productions, the Defendant was retrained from using the title Main Hun Rajnikant, there by Personality Right of Superstar Rajnikant was recognized.

Vide Order dated 13.12.2017 passed by Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in CS(COMM) 395/2017 titled as Mr.Gautam Gambhir vs D.A.P & Co. & Anr, Defendant was restrained from using Gautam Gambhir name for running his restaurant.

Similarly in Judgment reported as 2012 SCC Online DEL 2382 Titan Industries Limited Vs. Ram Kumar Jewellers, Defendant was restrained from using the picture of Amitabh Bachchan And Mrs.Jaya Bachchan as a advertisement banner.

Personality right of Shri Arun Jaitley was well recognized in Judgement reported as 2011 (47) PTC 1(Del): Mr.Arun Jaitley Vs Network Solutions Private Limited.

Indian Courts are very much generous in recognizing right of a celebrity as a person. This is because Where ever you go in any city of India, pictures of some actor, actress or sportsperson will be seen everywhere. Every morning at a tea shop, countless young people, Teenagers, children, elderly etc. will be seen discussing about them.

If you go to any barbershop, there are many pictures of film actors. When someone arrives to get their haircut, they are shown the hairstyle of a Particular actor and barber get his hair cut often in a particular hair style of an actor, chosen by the customer . Especially among the Teenagers, there is a competition to copy the hairstyle of a particular film actor.

The same applies with a beautician. If you go to a beautician parlor then there also you may find photos of countless actresses. So is with any local market, whether it is clothing shops, local jeweler shops or juice shops, pictures of some actor, actress or sportsperson are found everywhere.

Talking about promotional advertisement on TV, countless companies are often seen choosing famous actors, actresses or famous sports players for promoting their products, like soap, surf, bikes, shampoos, Tobacco Products, Wine, Junk Foods, utensils etc.

In TV live shows , extent fan's love for their favorite actor, actress or player of any sport is apparently visible. Some of their fans, especially Teenagers keep their favorite artist's name written on their body.

The basic reason for this is that most people have a respect for these actors, actresses or players of sport. People want to be like them, follow their behavior and want to look like them.

The personality right of a celebrity has been recognized as asset. Besides the Judgements mentioned above , few other Judgements are also there recognizing the concept of celebrity right, like AIR 2006 Mad 312: R. Rajagopal Vs J. Jayalalitha, where personality Right of famous Actress turned Politician J.Jayalaitha was recognized.

Barring a few exception , recently where father of Late Actor Shushant Singh Rajput was declined relief by Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in Judgment 10.06.2021/DHC/CS(COMM) No.187 of 202 Titled as KK Singh Vs Sarla Sarogi, where different between Personality right and right to Publicity was marked out.

It is because of this madness in society, be it small shops or big companies , all have been using this famous celebrity to promote their products. For this reason, photographs of these public celebrities will be found in almost every street, every shops in every locality.

This is because these celebrities have a wide impact on society. People want to be as famous as they are. If this celebrity promotes a particular product in the society, then sale of that particular product grows manifold.

They have a wide impact on society. They have a great impact on people, especially the Teenagers. They are getting all the respect, honor, prestige, strength from the society, but in return what they are giving to the society other than entertainment, it becomes very important. This has widely been recognized by various courts in India.

Though these public celebrities also supports goods cause also, which is required to be praised. But surprisingly many actors, actresses, public celebrities are seen promoting tobacco products line Pan, Chewing Tobacco, Cigarettes, Gutka and other harmful products like liquor, junk food products, online games etc. Do they not realize their responsibility towards the society?

Promotion of Pan, Chewing Tobacco, Cigarettes, Gutka and other harmful products like liquor, junk food products, online games etc by public celebrity has worst effect on the new generation. Everyone knows that the effects of Pan, Chewing Tobacco, Cigarettes, Gutka and other harmful products like liquor, junk food products, online games etc are injurious to human body and mind. Society has given them so much power, clout , still these celebrities are using this power only for their economic benefit.

Will these public celebrities encourage their children to consume Pan, Chewing Tobacco, Cigarettes, Gutka and other harmful products like liquor, junk food products etc? Would they like that Paan, Khaini, cigarettes, Gutka, alcohol, junk food products and like online games, etc. should be promoted in schools? The answer should be negative.

It is a well-known saying that with great power comes great responsibility. If the people are enjoying such great clout to influence the society , then why not they be put to some moral restrictions.

These public celebrities should stop promoting dangerous products like Pan, Chewing Tobacco, Cigarettes, Gutka and other harmful products like liquor, junk food products, online games etc assuming their moral responsibility. It is important for these public celebrities should realize moral responsibility. After all it is not necessary that every unethical act should be stopped by legal process only.

Now a time has come , where the Court should take suo moto cognizance of this fact and a fine balance has to be marked out between personality right and social responsibility of a celebrity towards society.

Written By: Ajay Amitabh Suman, Advocate, Hon'ble High Court Of Delhi

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