Why ‘Bad Boy Billionaires India’ Is Not Available On Netflix And The Road Ahead

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The much-awaited documentary series Bad Boy Billionaires: India had to be put on hold after India’s Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea filed by Netflix seeking stay on a court order issued in Araria, in the Indian state of Bihar. Bad Boy Billionaires: India, was slated to premiere on the platform on Wednesday, September 2. Even the trailer of the show is no longer available on the platform, the world over.

The series is about liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, founder and former head of Satyam Computer Services Ramalinga Raju, Subrata Roy of the Sahara group, and jeweller Nirav Modi. 

When Netflix approached the Supreme Court of India against the Bihar court order, the bench directed them to Patna High Court instead. “This is not the proper forum to come to after the order is passed by a lower court. You have deliberately come here, you should not have come here,” the Supreme Court order told Netflix.

Netflix will now approach Patna High Court

After the Supreme Court order, senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, representing Netflix, withdrew the petition and said they will approach Patna High Court over the matter. Rohatgi also asked Supreme Court to issue a notice for all cases in the matter be trasferred to one court and the court agreed. 

While Netflix refused to offer any comment on the issue, show director Dylan Mohan Gray had posted a few tweets expressing his displeasure at the development. However, the tweets have since been deleted. “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.Recommended For You

Filmmakers support Bad Boy Billionaire: India

However, Indian filmmakers have come forward in defense of Gray. Hansal Mehta, of Aligarh and Omerta fame, tweeted, “There you go. This is no country for true stories. Dear [Netflix India,] please fight this violation. All of us trying to tell true stories need your fight. These stories must be told. Nobody here has the gumption for a necessary battle.” 

Anubhav Sinha, of Mulk and Thappad fame, also wrote on Twitter, “I don’t get it. Newspapers can write about it. TV News (or whatever) can show it. Portals can but Cinema can’t. What’s this hypocrisy???? It happened. Right? Or you’re saying it didn’t???”

Legal troubles of Bad Boy Billionaires: India

A Sahara Group Entity and a Sector Manager of Sahara in Araria, Bihar had filed a injunction suit for restraining Netflix from releasing the series against their Chairman and business entities and a lower court had restrained Netflix from releasing, transmitting, distributing, and exhibiting Bad Boy Billionaires or its trailer using Subrata Roy’s name. Cases against the Sahara chief are still ongoing with the Indian market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

As per a statement issued by the company, Sahara has also filed a “criminal complaint against Netflix and its directors Abhishek Nag, Reginald Shawn Thompson, Neha Sinha and the producers Nick Read, Ms. Reva Sharma and Iqbal Kidwai, for committing various criminal offences under Information Technology Act 2000, Indian Penal Code and the Trademarks Act.”

Ramalinga Raju had also obtained a stay on the series in a Hyderabad court in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. he court had said that the petitioner had the case in his favor as cases are pending against Raju.

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