Ever since streaming giant Netflix put out the trailer for Bad Boy Billionaires, an investigative docuseries focusing on four Indian business tycoons facing charges of fraud, the country has been waiting with bated breath for the show to drop. Bad Boy Billionaires was set for an early September release this year, but following a state court order, the show has been put on hold.
The series shines the spotlight on the financial misdemeanours of Kingfisher’s Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy from Sahara Group, jeweller Nirav Modi and Satyam Computers’ Ramalinga Raju. As per news reports, diamond merchant Mehul Choksi of the infamous PNB scam had approached the Delhi High Court and raised an objection against the show, but his plea was dismissed. When Choksi additionally asked for the documentary to be pre-screened, the court refused. Netflix’s lawyers argued that a mere two minutes on the show had been devoted to Choksi and that his appearance was restricted to just one or two interviews.
Subrata Roy from the Sahara Group also added more obstacles to Netflix’s path when he filed a petition in Araria, Bihar and argued that the show was maligning his reputation and would have an adverse effect on the Sahara group. Following this, the court ordered an interim stay on the show that uses Roy’s name, until Netflix appeared before the court. The streaming giant however, decided to approach the Supreme Court for a dismissal of Roy’s petition, which wasn’t granted. In fact, reports say that the Sahara group has kickstarted criminal proceedings against Netflix, on charges of “maligning” the image of Subrata Roy and the Sahara group.
If that wasn’t enough, Ramalinga Raju also approached a Hyderabad civil court and succeeded in getting an interim stay on the release of the series.
Reactions followed on Twitter. Indian filmmaker Hansal Mehta voiced his displeasure:
There you go. This is no country for true stories. Dear @NetflixIndia 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. https://t.co/MtdWXiC9V6
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) September 2, 2020