The late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s niece, Deepa Jayakumar, had asked for a stay citing privacy concerns of the family.

No stay on release of Jaya biopics Queen and Thalaivi Madras HC
Flix Court Friday, December 13, 2019 - 09:53

The Madras High Court held on Thursday rejected a plea by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar which sought a stay on upcoming biopics of the late leader. The feature film in the works is directed by AL Vijay. Titled Thalaivi in Tamil and Jaya in Hindi, the film will have Bollywood actor Kangna Ranaut in the lead. The web series, on the other hand, directed by Gautham Menon, is titled Queen and stars Ramya Krishnan in the lead.

Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy concurred with Deepa's argument that she had a right to privacy while pointing out that AL Vijay had given an undertaking that she does not feature in the film, reported The Hindu. Gautham Menon, however, argued against such an undertaking given that his web series was a work of fiction. Gautham Menon has also been directed not to include any characters resembling Deepa. 

While a release date for Thalaivi has not yet been announced, Queen is set to release on Saturday, December 14.

Deepa had demanded that the full script of the productions be made available to her and stated that her explicit permission was required to make the film and web series. Deepa raised privacy concerns with regard to the portrayal of the late AIADMK supremo as well as herself.

Interestingly, the court noted that Deepa could not demand to be included in a film claiming that her aunt's biography would otherwise be incomplete. It must also be reasoned with the directors' right to freedom of expression, the court held.

The court said that a determination was yet to be made of Deepa's rights to demand that the film be exhibited prior to its release given that she was not an immediate relative of the late Chief Minister. According to one report in The New Indian Express, filmmakers were asked to honour their undertaking that Deepa would not be depicted in their works.

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