Netflix opposes Mehul Choksi's plea for preview of Bad Boy Billionaires: India in Delhi HC

Calling Mehul Choksi an “absconder”, Netflix’s response maintained that the release of Bad Boy Billionaires: India will not affect his “fundamental right to trial”

FP Trending September 23, 2020 11:37:44 IST
Netflix opposes Mehul Choksi's plea for preview of Bad Boy Billionaires: India in Delhi HC

Still from Netflix's Bad Boy Billionaires: India. Image from Twitter

Netflix has submitted its response to Delhi High Court and has opposed fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi’s plea seeking a preview of the documentary Bad Boy Billionaires: India.

The online streaming platform said pre-publication censorship was “entirely impermissible” in a response filed on 21 September.

This comes after the Delhi High Court sought a response from the Centre and Netflix in regards to the appeal filed by Choksi on 7 September. A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan had asked Netflix to clarify its stand with respect to the merchant’s plea by 23 September.

Calling Choksi an “absconder”, Netflix’s response maintained that the release of the show will not affect Choksi’s “fundamental right to trial”. The international entertainment provider also said that the businessman had “admittedly forsaken his citizenship in order to defeat the jurisdiction of Indian courts”.

The response also brought attention to a “subterfuge” or deceit noticeable in Choksi’s appeal. The affidavit filed by him is neither attested nor apostilled, and he has used the address of an “entire township”. This, Netflix maintained, was done so that the merchant can continue to evade the process of law.

On the other hand, as there was a large amount of data about Choksi available in the public sphere, Netflix said that if comments were made on him based on the data, it “would amount to fair comment in the public interest”.

Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, is an accused in the nearly $2 billion PNB scam. After leaving the country last year, the industrialist was granted citizenship by Antigua and Barbuda.

Earlier, on 28 August, Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea seeking a preview by Mehul Choksi.

Initially set to release on 2 September, Bad Boy Billionaires: India deals with 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. Choksi is also featured along with his nephew Nirav Modi.

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