Telangana HC to civil court, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

HYDERABAD: The fate of Netflix episode on Satyam Computers founder chairman B Ramalinga Raju is now in the hands of a city civil court which was given three weeks by the Telangana high court on Wednesday to decide on its release on the OTT platform.

Though the Netflix webseries on financial fraudsters titled ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’ featuring Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Subrata Roy and Raju began in October 2020, the episode on Raju could not be released for past two years due to an interim injunction order by the city civil court on a plea by the scam-tainted Satyam founder.

Netflix had later approached the high court seeking vacation of the stay, but the matter was partly heard and no final decision was not taken in the last two years. Covid-19 was one of the reasons as only urgent matters were heard during the period of virtual courts.

On Wednesday, when the matter was listed before a bench of Justice Shameem Akther and Justice Nagesh Bheemapaka, senior counsel CV Mohan Reddy appearing for Netflix sought removal of all restrictions on release citing the two-year delay.

The bench too was of the view that the matter was pending for too long.

“We are not saying anything on merits here. Let the civil court decide the matter. Let both parties argue the case before the trial court,” the HC bench said while disposing of the plea.

During earlier hearings, Netflix had argued that censorship should be discouraged by courts.

Pointing out that Raju was convicted for cheating investors and the material on him was there in public domain, it said that the seriesmakers did not need anyone’s permission to use it.

Raju, however, has contended that the film-makers collected details from him through misrepresentation. He said that some agency first approached him for details of his life and Netflix was nowhere in the picture then. He claimed that the details and photos were obtained for one purpose, but the material was now being used against him to to paint him in a bad light through the webseries.

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