Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Netflix series ‘Bad Boy Billionaire’: “We can stop TikTok and many more, but Netflix is above everyone?” Mehul Choksi submits before Delhi HC

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In an application moved before the Delhi High Court challenging the order of a single bench in a petition filed by Mehul Choksi against Netflix Series ‘Bad Boy Billionaire’, Advocate Vijay Agrawal appearing for Mehul submitted that

The ministry says we don’t regulate OTT, what if Netflix propagate Chinese agenda, would the court not take indulgence as Netflix is unregulated. We can stop TikTok and many more, but Netflix is above everyone?

A divisional bench comprising the Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalana while hearing the matter through video conferencing stated that civil court is also a sovereign.

The application has been filed by Mehul Choksi challenging the order of the single-judge bench in which Mehul’s petition was dismissed by Justice Navin Chawla stating that he can file a civil suit as what is being alleged as an infringement by him is a private right and can be exercised in a civil suit. The bench further refused to grant him a preview stating that there are no regulations to control the content being streamed on OTT platforms, citing a similar order passed by the division bench of the high court in a different matter.

Earlier the petition has been filed alleging that as the Netflix series features Choksi’s nephew Nirav Modi who’s also the co-accused in the case, it may prejudice the investigation and trial against him. 


Mr. Agrawal submitted his arguments referring to various judgments of the Supreme Court and various High Courts upon the maintainability of the matter in a writ court.

Netflix, in its reply to the application, has called the pre-publication of the series ‘impermissible’ and stated that the release of the series will not violate the Fundamental Rights of Mehul in any manner.

Mr. Agrawal referring to the judgment in the case of Batla House submitted that the concerned person was convict of terrorism, the cinematographic film was previewed, the scenes were deleted, muted, etc.

“The world is dynamic, with one click they can influence millions of people of the country,” Mr. Agrwal added.

Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for Netflix contended that the entire Writ Petition was based on a trailer that does not even mention the petitioner. I had the privilege to watch the series and in the main episode, Nirav Modi’s part is of two minutes, in which case the petitioner is a party.

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Mr. Kaul further added that in the Raja Gopal judgment, the bench held that when the Matter is in the public domain for long, there is no question of privacy. This series is nothing but an amalgamation of interviews, snippets, news reports of various people.

The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on September 29, and on request of Mr. Agrawal of filing the trailer, the bench has asked him to keep the trailer of the series ready and we’ll see if the need arises.

-India Legal Bureau

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