Delhi HC dismisses Mehul Choksi's plea for pre-screening of Netflix docuseries Bad Boy Billionaires

The judge declined to grant relief to Mehul Choksi, saying a writ petition for enforcement of a private right cannot be maintainable.

FP Staff August 28, 2020 16:11:05 IST
Delhi HC dismisses Mehul Choksi's plea for pre-screening of Netflix docuseries Bad Boy Billionaires

The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed a plea by Mehul Choksi, an accused in the nearly $2 billion PNB scam, to conduct pre-screening of Netflix documentary, Bad Boy Billionaires.

Justice Navin Chawla, after hearing the matter for over two hours, declined to grant relief to Choksi saying a writ petition for enforcement of a private right cannot be maintainable.

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

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.

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

It takes a look at controversial cases of infamous businessmen Vijay Mallya (of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines), fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, Sahara Group's Subrata Roy and Satyam Computers CEO Byrraju Ramalinga Raju.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, representing Choksi, had sought postponement of the documentary’s release.

He said Choksi saw the trailer and has been receiving phone calls from across the world 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.

The plea was pre-screening of the documentary was vehemently opposed by Netflix.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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