Understanding Personality Rights and its Attributes in the Context of Jackie Shroff’s Case


In a landmark ruling, the Delhi High Court has fortified the protection of personality and publicity rights, particularly for celebrities, in the case of Jaikishan Kakubhai Saraf alias Jackie Shroff v. The Peppy Store & Ors. [2024:DHC:4046] On May 15, 2024, Justice Sanjeev Narula issued an interim order restraining various social media accounts, AI chatbots, and e-commerce websites from using Jackie Shroff’s name, voice, or image without his consent for commercial purposes. This decision highlights the enforceability of personality rights, ensuring that individuals, especially public figures, have control over the commercial use of their identity and are protected from unauthorized exploitation and reputational damage.

Personality Rights and its attributes:

Personality rights, also known as publicity rights, refer to an individual’s right to control the commercial use of their name, image, voice, likeness, and other unique personal attributes. These rights ensure that a person’s identity is not exploited without their consent, protecting them from unauthorized commercial gain or damage to their reputation. The primary attributes of personality rights include:

1. Name: The right to control the use of one’s name in commercial activities.

2. Image: The right to prevent unauthorized use of one’s likeness or photographs.

3. Voice: The right to control the commercial use of one’s voice.

4. Likeness: The right to prevent the use of one’s distinctive features, including facial expressions or unique physical traits.

5. Other Unique Characteristics: This can include signature, gestures, or any other attribute that can be uniquely identified with a person.

Jackie Shroff case:

In a recent landmark decision, the Delhi High Court protected the personality and publicity rights of actor Jackie Shroff, highlighting the importance and enforceability of these rights. Justice Sanjeev Narula passed an interim order on May 15, 2024, restraining various social media accounts, AI chatbots, and e-commerce websites from using Shroff’s name, voice, or image without his consent for commercial purposes.

Key Aspects of the Case:

1. Unauthorized Use and Injunction: Shroff moved to court after discovering that several entities were misusing his personality attributes without authorization. This included the use of his name, image, and voice on social media platforms and e-commerce websites. The court responded by ordering these entities to cease such activities and take down pornographic links misusing Shroff’s name.

2. Protection of Celebrity Status: The court recognized Shroff’s status as a celebrity, which grants him enhanced protection over his personality rights. This is crucial as celebrities are often more vulnerable to unauthorized exploitation of their persona.

3. Freedom of Expression Consideration: The court also weighed the balance between personality rights and freedom of expression. It refused to take down a video titled ‘Jackie Shroff is Savage, Jackie Shroff Thug Life’ from a YouTube channel, stating that the video constituted artistic expression. Justice Narula noted that restricting such content could set a precedent that stifles free speech.

4. Future Hearings: The case will continue to be heard, with the next hearing scheduled for October 15, 2024. The court will further examine responses from other defendants alleged to be infringing on Shroff’s rights.

Broader Implications:

This case underscores the legal recognition and protection of personality rights in India. It echoes similar orders granted to other Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor, who also sought judicial intervention to protect their persona from unauthorized commercial exploitation.


The Delhi High Court’s decision in favour of Jackie Shroff fortifies the legal framework surrounding personality rights in India. It emphasizes the need for consent in using a person’s identity for commercial purposes, thus safeguarding the personal and commercial interests of individuals, particularly public figures. This case serves as a significant reference point for future disputes involving the misuse of personal attributes, reinforcing the balance between protecting individual rights and preserving freedom of expression.

Author :-  Pranav kushwaha (Legal Intern)

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