Why Isn’t Bad Boy Billionaires: India Out on Netflix?



Bad Boy Billionaires: India isn’t coming to Netflix just yet. Multiple Indian courts — including one in Bihar and another in Hyderabad — have issued a stay on the release of Bad Boy Billionaires: India, after petitions were filed by two of its subjects. The Netflix investigative docuseries looks at the crimes committed by Kingfisher’s Vijay Mallya, Sahara’s Subrata Roy, jeweller Nirav Modi, and Satyam’s Ramalinga Raju. While Roy wants his name entirely scrubbed off, Raju claims Bad Boy Billionaires: India is an unlawful invasion of his privacy. As such, Bad Boy Billionaires: India is unavailable on Netflix globally.

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A Netflix spokesperson told Gadgets 360 it had no comment. Bad Boy Billionaires: India director Dylan Mohan Gray took to Twitter to voice his displeasure: “[E]very single assertion in [Bad Boy Billionaires] has been verified [and] factchecked to a degree utterly unheard of in [I]ndian media… the two tycoons [Roy and Raju] blocking release have been tried and convicted of the offences detailed in the films about them… mortal fear of the truth abetted by [the law].”

“[P]eople say stay positive [and] don’t criticise… so in that vein let’s just say that if you are rich, powerful, well-connected… no matter what you have done or plan to do… you will [emphasis his] ALWAYS have a loyal friend in the [I]ndian judiciary (loyalty like that is just so rare these days),” Gray added in a second tweet later.

The legal troubles for Bad Boy Billionaires: India began in fact with Modi’s uncle and fellow jeweller Mehul Choksi, who filed a petition in Delhi last week and demanded a personal screening prior to its release on Netflix. Netflix said this was “wholly misconceived” and that it would amount to censorship. The Delhi High Court dismissed the petition but said Choksi could file a civil suit if he desired. Choksi has filed a second petition that was to be heard Tuesday. Both Choksi and Modi are wanted for the Punjab National Bank fraud worth Rs. 13,700 crores. Modi is said to be hiding in the UK, and Choksi is said to be in Antigua in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, in the same week, Roy filed his petition in Araria, Bihar, and alleged that Bad Boy Billionaires: India would “malign” his public image and have an “adverse effect” on the Sahara Group. The local court seemingly agreed and granted a stay on the series’ release until Netflix appeared before it. But the streaming service chose to approach the Supreme Court directly to dismiss Roy’s petition, which was heard earlier on Tuesday. The Supreme Court didn’t listen to Netflix though, and said it should have approached the Patna High Court. Roy was convicted for defrauding investors of tens of thousands of crores. He has been out on parole since 2016.

That leaves Raju, who took to a civil court in Hyderabad, alleging that Bad Boy Billionaires: India invaded his privacy, contained “half-truths”, and was designed to destroy his reputation. The court agreed and granted a stay, prohibiting Netflix from releasing the docuseries. Raju has already been convicted in the Satyam embezzlement scam worth over Rs. 7,000 crores. The Satyam founder was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2015 but granted bail a month later.

“There you go. This is no country for true stories,” Hansal Mehta said in a tweet, a rare Indian filmmaker who’s addressed the legal troubles faced by Bad Boy Billionaires: India, which has been made in the UK. “Dear [Netflix India,] please fight this violation. All of us trying to tell true stories need your fight. These stories must be told. Nobody here has the gumption for a necessary battle.”

Bad Boy Billionaires: India was set to release September 2 on Netflix. The streaming service displayed “Wednesday” on its platform until release time but it has now removed all mentions of a release date from the series’ title page.


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