The niece of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had sought the court to restrain the directors from making biopics on her aunt’s life without her consent.

Jaya biopic row Madras HC reserves verdict in Deepa Jayakumars plea
Flix Court Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 18:29

The Madras High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a plea by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa seeking to restrain some filmmakers from going ahead with the movies and a web series allegedly portraying the life of the late leader.

The matter pertains to the announcement made by filmmakers AL Vijay, Vishnu Vardhan Induri and Gautham Vasudev Menon to produce a film on the biography of late Jayalalitha titled Thalaivi in Tamil and Jaya in Hindi besides a web series titled Queen. While Thalaivi and Jaya, directed by AL Vijay, is in the works, Queen, directed by Gautham Menon is slated to release on December 14.

Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar had sought to restrain them from going ahead with their project without her consent and also contended that the filmmakers did not have any legal right to produce the movie on the life and times of Jayalalithaa or any of the direct descendants of the leader without her consent. Her petition also stated that that being a family member of Jayalalithaa, she was associated with important events in the late leader's life and was hence worried that filmmakers might portray the life of her aunt and hers as well in their "own version" affecting her privacy.

On Wednesday, Deepa submitted that the court may appoint a retired Madras High Court judge to see the movie and the web series and decide on the objections. Meanwhile, Vishnu Vardhan Induri submitted that his movie is based on the book titled ‘Thalaivi’.

Pointing out that Deepa had not objected to the publication of numerous books written on Jayalalithaa including 'Thalaivi' and that the book was also registered under the Copyright Act, he stated that pre-production work for his movie has been going on for the last 18 months. 

Gautham Vasudev Menon, meanwhile, submitted that his web series is not connected to the life of the late leader and is based on an English book titled ‘Queen’. He also stated that Rs 25 crore has already been spent on the series.

Justice Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy, who heard the suit, reserved orders after hearing arguments on Wednesday. 

(With PTI inputs)

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