Stream giant Netflix has partially released its series The Bad Boy Billionaires which documents the four Indian tycoons who face fraud allegations. It is believed that the injunction was lifted late on Saturday, said Amit Shrivastava, a lawyer for Netflix. He declined to comment further on the matter, it is still not clear why the court overturned the previous order. The official order is yet to be released.
The Bad Boy Billionaires: India documentary series about liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy of the Sahara group, IT executive Ramalinga Raju and jeweller Nirav Modi was scheduled for release last month. Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, suspended the show’s release after an order from the Araria district court in Bihar where the Sahara group argued it would damage Roy’s reputation.
The streaming giant refused to offer any comment on the latest development bu previously Bad Boy Billionaires’ director Dylan Mohan Gray shared tweets expressing his displeasure when the series was halted. In the tweets which have since been deleted, he said, “Every single assertion in #badboybillionaires has been verified & fact-checked to a degree utterly unheard of in Indian media. The two tycoons [Roy and Raju] blocking [the series’] release have been tried and convicted of the offences detailed in the films about them,” Gray had tweeted. When approached, Gray also refused to comment on the matter.
Indian Express reached out to Sahara IT Group however no response has been received. Roy is currently on bail, having been ordered by a court to repay billions of dollars to investors in a scheme which was found to be illegal. Roy denied wrongdoing in the case and his counsel has said he already has repaid investors. Some Netflix shows in India have faced court challenges and police complaints for obscenity or for hurting religious sentiments.
The ongoing legal spat is among the most high-profile ones Netflix has faced in India, one of its key growth markets. The streaming company had argued that halting the show’s release “freezes free speech” and hurts the company financially, Reuters has reported.
On Monday, Netflix made three of the four episodes in the series available on its app for viewers in India. The episode focusing on Raju was unavailable. Raju, who was accused of a $1 billion accounting fraud more than a decade ago, has obtained a separate injunction on its telecast from a court in south India. The case would be heard later on Monday, A Venkatesh, a lawyer for Raju, told Reuters.
The other two tycoons – Modi and Mallya – are facing extradition attempts and are currently in the United Kingdom. Both have denied wrongdoing.
Source inputs: Indian Express | NDTV