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Salman vs Selmon Bhoi: Actor moves court against video game; here’s why

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The court has ordered the makers of the game to restrain from disseminating, launching, relaunching or recreating the game till the issue is resolved.

Salman vs Selmon Bhoi: Actor moves court against video game; here’s why

Bollywood actor Salman Khan is back in court. But this time there is no case against him. The actor has moved a civil court in Mumbai against Selmon Bhoi, a “hit-and-run” game. The court has ordered the makers of the game to restrain from disseminating, launching, relaunching or recreating the game till the issue is resolved.

The court directed the game be taken down immediately and access be disabled on all platforms like Google Play Store. “Upon watching the game and its images, it prima facie matches with the identity of the plaintiff (Khan) and to the hit-and-run case connected to the plaintiff," the court said.

"When the plaintiff has not given his consent for developing of the game, which is very similar to his identity and the case against him, certainly his right to privacy is being deprived and his image is also being tarnished," the order said.

“Till the defendants file the reply and as the prima facie case is made out by the plaintiff, the balance of convenience also lies in his favour and if no ad-interim reliefs are granted the plaintiff will suffer irreparable loss which cannot be compensated in terms of money,” the judge said.

So, what is Selmon Bhoi?

Nagpur-based Parody Studios launched a video game with a character called Selmon Bhoi, who is on a “quest to finish all life on earth by smashing the hell out of every single BOO-slims life,” as per the description of the game.

In the game, the driver navigates the car through obstacles like trees and rocks to hit people and animals and collect coins on a rotating earth surface. If the driver hits an obstacle, parts of his car get damaged. The game ends after three such hits.

How is the game related to the actor?

Apart from the character who looks like the actor, the name of the video game sounds similar to Salman Bhai, a name lovingly used by fans and friends.

The game description has a reference of ‘Aish’, which alludes to Salman Khan’s previous relationship with actor Aishwarya Rai. There are references to Salman’s driver as well, who had claimed he was driving the car on the night of the hit-and-run case. The game also features blackbucks, another case associated with Salman Khan.

Salman had approached the court against Parody Studios and its directors, Google LLC and Google India Pvt Ltd. The actor’s legal team has claimed that the defendants intentionally created the game to reap commercial gains by using Khan’s image without his permission. They stated that the game tarnishes the actor’s reputation and goodwill and also encroaches upon his right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.