Like all Bollywood stars, Salman Khan is worried about his image. And his 2002 hit-and-run case has once again come back to haunt him — this time in the guise of ‘Selmon Bhoi’, a video game that beckons its players to join “Selmon Bhoi and his driver on the quest to kill”.
The actor lost no time in filing a complaint against it in a Mumbai civil court, which has passed an injunction restraining the makers from creating, launching and disseminating a game or any other content related to the actor.
The court also found ‘Selmon Bhoi’ to be injurious to Salman Bhai’s image, observing the actor’s “image will be damaged” and right to privacy denied.
“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.
The actor submitted that he had not consented to the game and got to know of it in the last week of August. His plea also pointed out that the name ‘Selmon Bhoi’ is phonetically the same as what Salman’s fans fondly call him – Salman Bhai – and its images are a caricature of the actor.
The Android-based game, that seems to parody the actor’s alleged drunk driving case, has Parody Studios Pvt Ltd behind it. The court has told the makers to immediately take-down/ block/disable access to the game from Google Play Store and all other platforms.
“When the plaintiff has not given his consent for developing 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.
The next hearing is on September 20.
Khan was sentenced to five years in jail by a trial court which convicted him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for running over five people on a pavement, and killing one in 2002. In 2015, however, the Bombay High Court cleared him of all charges.
The prosecution “failed to establish (the charges) beyond reasonable doubt”, the judge had said.