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Bad Boy Billionaires: High Court asks for copy of Netflix's investigative documentary after Mehul Choksi's plea

The Delhi High Court has asked video streaming platform Netflix to consider granting Mehul Choksi pre-screening of documentary ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’ in which he is featured.

August 27, 2020 / 10:02 AM IST
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File image

The Delhi High Court on August 26 asked Netflix whether it can provide a pre-screening of documentary ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’ to Mehul Choksi, an accused in the nearly $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

Before listing the matter for further hearing on August 28, Justice Navin Chawla orally asked the video streaming platform’s counsel to consider granting pre-screening to Choksi and cut short the controversy.

Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case. Choksi had left the country in 2018 and was subsequently granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.

The documentary, ‘Bad Boy Billionaires', which is scheduled to be release on in India on September 2, is described on Netflix as: ‘This investigative docuseries explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built up - and ultimately brought down - India's most infamous tycoons’.

It also takes a look at other controversial cases involving businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Subrata Roy and Byrraju Ramalinga Raju.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, representing Choksi, sought postponement of the documentary's release. He said his client Choksi saw the trailer and was receiving phone calls asking him whether he was part of the documentary and seeking comments.

‘Thereafter, the petitioner (Choksi) discovered that one of the persons seen speaking in the trailer was one Mr. Pavan C. Lall who had written a book titled 'Flawed: The Rise and Fall of India's Diamond Mogul Nirav Modi' where also the petitioner's name had been commingled with Nirav Modi's,’ the plea said.

In the petition, Choksi claims he has been falsely accused of various crimes in India and is presently under investigation or standing trial by and before various authorities and/or courts.

‘The petitioner is entitled in terms of Indian law, that is, Article 21 of the Constitution of India to a presumption of innocence and a free and fair trial. Reputation being a facet of a person's life, the petitioner is also entitled to a right to a reputation,’ it said.

However, Aggarwal said he was not seeking a stay on the release but was asking that the documentary be shown to him prior to its release.

During the hearing, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing Netflix and Netflix Entertainment Services India, said the series is on many people like Nirav Modi and only two minutes are devoted to Choksi.

(With inputs from PTI)

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first published: Aug 27, 2020 10:02 am