Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court against streaming platform Netflix’s upcoming web series Bad Boy Billionaires, reported the Hindustan Times. Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said that the 61-year-old businessman wanted to watch the series before its release on September 2.
Aggarwal argued that the series can affect the ongoing investigation against Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi in a fraud case, according to NDTV. To this effect, Choksi sought directions to restrain Netflix from releasing the episode. Both Choksi and Modi are accused of duping the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore.
The docuseries “explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built up – and ultimately brought down – India’s most infamous tycoons”, according to Netflix.
Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the streaming platform, said that Modi’s story was featured for a total of two minutes in the show, and Choksi was merely mentioned in it. Besides, he argued, content is not regulated on the streaming platform.
Aggarwal pointed out that courts had in the past protected accused from media trials by ordering the pre-screening of films or stopping their release, according to Bar and Bench. The petition was filed through advocates Naman Joshi and Tarun Singla. Choksi has alleged that he was falsely accused of “various crimes in India” and is entitled to a fair trial and presumption of innocence under the Indian Constitution.
Choksi fled to Antigua and Barbuda in January 2018, a few weeks before the scam came to light. A year later, in January 2019, Choksi had surrendered his Indian citizenship and passport to authorities in Antigua and Barbuda. This came five months after he claimed to have “lawfully applied” to become a citizen of the Caribbean nation to expand his business interests. The United Bank of India had in October last year declared Choksi and his company Gitanjali Gems as wilful defaulters and sought repayment of Rs 332 crore in dues.
Nirav Modi and his wife Ami Modi had also left India in January 2018 before investigating agencies started their inquiry into the fraud. On Tuesday, the Interpol issued a red corner notice against Ami Modi in connection with a money-laundering case.
On August 7, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London remanded Nirav Modi in custody till August 27 in India’s second extradition case against him. He was told the next hearing will be a case management hearing ahead of a five-day trial from September 7. He was arrested in London earlier this year. Four bail applications have been posted by his legal team since his arrest but they have been rejected every time as he is deemed a flight risk.