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SC dismisses Netflix plea against order restraining it from using Subrata Roy's name in web series 'Bad Boy Billionaires'

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde however granted liberty to Netflix to approach the Patna High Court against the order passed by a lower court at Araria, Bihar.

Published: 02nd September 2020 01:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2020 10:55 AM   |  A+A-

Subrata Roy

Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy (File | AFP)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to hear a Netflix petition against a Bihar lower court order restraining it from using Sahara group chief Subrata Roy's name in its web series 'Bad Boy Billionaires'.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde however granted liberty to Netflix to withdraw the plea and approach the concerned court to avail appropriate remedy against the order passed by a lower court at Araria, Bihar.

"Dismissed. We are sorry," the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra, A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said during the hearing conducted through video-conferencing.

In its order, the bench said: "Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for the petitioner (Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP), prays for withdrawal of this petition with liberty to avail an appropriate remedy in accordance with law. Prayer is allowed."

"However, we make it clear that when the petitioner avails of such a remedy, the concerned court may deal with the matter on its own merits expeditiously. The special leave petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid".

ALSO READ | Mehul Choksi appeals against dismissal of plea for pre-screening of Netflix's 'Bad Boy Billionaires'

Rohatgi, who was appearing for Netflix, told the bench that several petitions pertaining to the web series are pending in various high courts and the apex court should transfer these matters to itself.

The bench issued notice on the separate petition filed by Netflix seeking transfer of the matters pending before different high courts.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Sahara India, opposed the Netflix plea and said that the order was passed by a civil judge and an appeal would lie before the district judge and not before the high court or the apex court.

The web series, scheduled for release in India on Wednesday, is promoted by Netflix as: "This investigative docuseries explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built up - and ultimately brought down - India's most infamous tycoons".

Roy and two other directors were earlier arrested for failure of the group's two companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) -- to comply with the apex court's August 31, 2012 order to return around Rs 25,000 crore to their investors.

Roy was sent to Tihar Jail by the apex court on March 4, 2014 and came out on parole after spending over two years in prison on May 6, 2016 to perform the last rites of his mother.

He has been out of prison since then.

On August 28, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea by Mehul Choksi, an accused in the nearly USD 2 billion PNB scam, to conduct pre-screening of 'Bad Boy Billionaires'.

The high court had declined to grant relief to Choksi saying a writ petition for enforcement of a private right cannot be maintainable.

The high court had said his remedy lies in a civil suit and granted him the liberty to raise the issue in a civil suit.

Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.

Choksi left the country last year and was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.

His plea for pre-screening was vehemently opposed in the high court by Netflix saying it was wholly misconceived and mischievous petition.

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  • R.RAMACHANDRAN

    In this country judges and lawyers are reason to growing criminals by giving protections .They are not giving as such protections to honest people.
    25 days ago reply
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