Netflix argues for free speech in court spat with Indian tycoons over Bad Boy Billionaires
September 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm
An Indian court ruled to release a Netflix Inc series of fraud charges on four Indian tycoons to make “fraud-free speech” and financially harm the company, the US streaming giant saw by Reuters Has argued to be filed in court.
Bad Boy Billionaire is a documentary series about liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy of Sahara Group, Indian IT executive Ramalinga Raju and Johri Nirav Modi. Netflix stopped the show this month on a state court order where Sahara violated Roy’s privacy rights.
Roy is currently out on bail in a case where he was ordered by the court to repay billions of dollars to investors in a scheme that was found to be illegal. Roy denied wrongdoing in the case and had already repaid the investors, his lawyer said.
Arguing for free speech in an appeal in the Eastern Bihar State High Court, Netflix said the documentary was an assimilation of information available in the public domain. Has not been filed before.
Also read Why Bad Boy Billionaires Trailer Not Available on Netflix
A pre-publication injunction granted by the court “frees free speech”, Netflix filed earlier this month, which was reviewed by Reuters. It argued that it is a right to free speech “on a matter of public interest”.
Some Netflix shows in India have faced court challenges and police complaints for obscenity or for hurting feelings. Netflix is one of the most high-profile people in India, one of its major growth markets.
The injunction was granted by a Bihar court which said that the series would “definitely damage Roy’s reputation”. Sahara and Netflix declined to comment. Rai could not be reached for comment.
The American streaming giant has argued that it had invested large sums of money and promoted the series worldwide. The injunction, Netflix argued, resulted in irreparable monetary losses, as well as its goodwill and reputation.
Netflix has described Bad Boy Billionaires as an “investigative documentary (which) explores greed, fraud and corruption – eventually created and India’s most maligned tycoon.”
Not only is Netflix locked in legal trouble with Sahara, but also another businessman Raju whose story was to appear in the series.
Raju, accused of cheating $ 1 billion for over a decade, had obtained a separate state court order against the release of the show, but Netflix has challenged it in a high court, with A. Venkatesh, representing Raju The lawyer said.
Venkatesh said that Raju would continue to argue against the release of the show.
Both Netflix appeals can be heard in the coming days. It was not clear whether the other two tycoons – Modi and Mallya – have filed a petition against the release of the series.
Modi is facing extradition attempts to India following his arrest in London last year on a $ 2 billion bank fraud charge. Mallya is also contesting India’s extradition bid for alleged fraud in his worst Kingfisher Airlines in the UK so far.
Modi and Mallya have denied any wrongdoing.
Zulfikar Memon of the Indian law firm MZM Legal, who is part of the team representing Modi in his extradition case, said he had not registered a case to stop the release of the series, but was tracking the ongoing dharna Were.
A lawyer for Mallya could not immediately be reached for comment.
4 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines.
For all the latest entertainment news, download the Indian Express app.