UncategorizedBollywood Vs Media – Is a Public Person a Public Property?

March 24, 20210

In the civil petition no.CS(OS) 337/2020 & I.A. Nos.10251, 11962, 11963, 11964, 12010/2020 of The Film and Television Producers Guild of India & Ors. Versus ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.at Delhi High Court, the bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Shakdher extended the interim order on 23.03.2021 asking the media not to defame or derogate the Bollywood industry, to restrain from infringing right to privacy until further notice and that there shall not be any media trial of any Bollywood celebrity.


  • The tussle arose when India lost its one of the finest Bollywood actors Sushant Singh Rajput and news channels started a media trial of other Bollywood actors and actresses.
  • 38 Bollywood production houses and film associations filed a suit against Times Now and Republic TV on 12th October, 2020 seeking perpetual and mandatory injunction against alleged derogatory and defamatory remarks.

Issues raised 

  1. Defamation of Bollywood industry.
  2. Infringement of Privacy: Making whatsapp chats public.
  3. Personal safety jeopardised: Reporters harassing actors.
  4. Injurious falsehood: Loss of Livelihood.
  5. Impact on fair trial: Anchors turned into investigators, prosecutors and judge.

Prayers Sought

  1. Seeking perpetual and mandatory injunction
  2. Refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood and its members.
  3. To stop conducting media trials and stop interfering with the RIGHT TO PRIVACY of people associated with the industry.
  4. To withdraw, recall and take down all defamatory and derogatory content that has been published against Bollywood industry by them.

Current Status

Delhi High Court extended its interim order of November 9, 2020 on March 23, 2021 for the time period of 60 more days i.e. till 25th May, 2021, asking media houses to ensure following things:

  • No defamatory content shall be uploaded on their social media platforms or channels regarding Bollywood industry and actors/actresses
  • Restrain upon infringing the privacy of associated persons


The outcome of this Suit will be an interesting watch in as much as as Bollywood is seeking an  injunction and whereas, Media is contesting on it’s non maintainability at the first place.

However, irrespective of the outcome, it is pertinent to refer and note that Right to privacy enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution safeguards every citizen but further requires timely attention when the discrimination occurs among citizens on basis apart from caste, creed, colour, religion, etc. At the same, how in India celebrities or public persons are looked upon is a notion that requires extensive amendment. Journalism either digital or print shall ensure while publicizing the information of any public person that none of their fundamental rights as a citizen of our country are infringed in any way.

Every public personality is always concerned with its image as defamation has the power to snatch the bread and butter of any individual but especially of public personalities whose work is dependent solely on public image.

Further, a new trial era has begun where Media houses run campaigns cum trial as if they are to give a judgement on any criminal justice system where the journalists and reporters are acting as investigators, prosecutors and judges by themselves.

It will be notable to receive a judgement considering all the factors discussed upon to cater the world of news channels and Bollywood to bring them in harmony with each other.

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