The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear Netflix’s petition against an order passed by a court in Bihar, which restrained the streaming platform from using Sahara Group Chairperson Subrata Roy’s name in its web series titled Bad Boy Billionaires, Live Law reported.
Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Netflix, told the top court that the hearing was urgent since the series was scheduled to be released on Wednesday
The Supreme Court Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, told Rohatgi that he should have approached a High Court for relief. “Doesn’t matter, this [Supreme Court] is not the forum,” Bobde said. “You should have gone to the High Court.”
Roy’s advocate, on the other hand, said that the order to stop Netflix from using Roy’s name was passed by a civil judge and an appeal against the same must be filed before a district judge.
Roy was arrested in 2014 in a case involving Rs 24,000 crore raised from investors illegally. He was sent to the Tihar Jail in Delhi and got bail last year.
Rohatgi, meanwhile, told the bench that several petitions related to the show were pending in other courts and the top court should transfer the pleas to itself. Bobde said he would consider his request.
Netflix has been promoting its show as a docuseries which explores “the greed, fraud and corruption” that built up – and ultimately brought down – India’s most infamous tycoons, including Vijay Mallya, Roy, Mehul Choksi, his nephew Nirav Modi and B Ramalinga Raju.
On Tuesday, a civil court in Hyderabad had restrained Netflix from releasing the series after Raju said it would invade his privacy in an unlawful manner. Raju was convicted in the Satyam scam, registered in 2009, along with three others. A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in April 2015 sentenced Raju and his two brothers to seven years in prison. The case is also said to be India’s biggest corporate fraud.
Choksi had also moved the Delhi High Court against the series on August 26, saying he wanted to watch the series before its release. His lawyer Vijay Aggarwal had argued that the series can affect the ongoing investigation into the fraud case involving the 61-year-old businessman and his nephew Modi. To this effect, Choksi sought directions to restrain Netflix from releasing the show. Both Choksi and Modi are accused of duping the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore.
On August 28, the High Court had refused to allow Choksi a preview of the series, stating that the streaming platform has no regulation to regulate the content. The court also said that Choksi can file a civil suit as his claims of infringement was his private right.