Mumbai, August 4: Ashu Suyash, chief executive and managing director of Crisil, has approached the Bombay High Court to restrain certain websites and mobile applications from using her image and likeness to advertise false endorsements and promotions of their businesses/services, thereby violating her privacy. 

Taking cognizance of her petition, a single-judge bench of the Bombay High Court has granted interim relief to Suyash and has restrained defendants from displaying, exhibiting, advertising or utilizing her image in any manner until further order, The Economic Times reported. 

The court has also directed internet service providers across the country from facilitating access to all websites and apps displaying Suyash’s image/likeness without her consent. 

‘We take our company, leadership and employees’ reputation very seriously and will pursue all legal recourse to prevent such misuse,” Vivek Saxena, General Counsel, CRISIL, said in response to a query by ET. 

According to Suyash, a Jaipur-based hospital Dana Shivam Heart & Super Speciality Hospital and others have allegedly used her pictures illegally in their literature without her consent or approval. 

On July 30, Justice BP Colabawalla, while passing an interim order in favour of Suyash and Crisil, also directed the respondent hospital and others to file their response in four weeks from the date of passing of the order. 

“The High Court recognised that such illicit use of her image and likeness also marred Crisil’s goodwill and reputation by deceiving consumers into believing that the services offered by these websites and apps were endorsed by or associated with her and Crisil,” said a person familiar with the development. 

The court accepted the arguments made on behalf of Crisil and its top boss, by senior counsel Venkatesh Dhond and Vikram Trivedi, managing partner of law firm Manilal Kher Ambalal & Co and observed that there is a strong prima-facie case for granting pro tem reliefs by prohibiting these websites and apps from advertising or displaying Crisil CEO’s image in any manner without her consent. 

“I find that a strong prima facie case is made out for granting ad-interim reliefs. In these circumstances there shall be ad-interim reliefs in terms of prayer,” Justice Colabawalla wrote in his judgement. 

The lawyers for Suyash and Crisil had sought an injunction by applying the John Doe principle by contending that these websites and apps portrayed her and Crisil in poor light and were defamatory in nature. 

John Doe orders are applied when there are several unknown parties involved in a case or a dispute and their identities are not traceable. Typically, John Doe orders are issued in cases relating to piracy of movies and publication of books.

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