Hyderabad: The two judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy on Friday decided to watch “Bad Boy Billionaires’before dealing with a civil appeal filed by Netflix challenging the order of Hyderabad city civil court, which restrained the release of the Netflix web series. The Netflix show is a documentary based on the life of four Indian billionaires viz. Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy, Nirav Modi and Ramalinga Raju, was expected to be released on the OTT platform on September 2.
The stay order was obtained on a petition filed by Byrraju Ramalinga Raju on the ground that it would invade his privacy in an unlawful manner. Raju also claimed that the narrative contained half-truths and was palpably designed to bring down his reputation. Netflix has already released the trailer of the web series. Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for Netflix argued the freedom of speech could not be curtailed based on the apprehensions. He said the court could not pass restraining order based on a 49 second trailer.
The content of documentary was available on the public domain and therefore there could be no intrusion of privacy as alleged, he said. Moreover restraining the free speech based on a trailer would set a bad precedent, said Kaul. Discussing the role of media and the possible defamation, when Kaul refereed to precedents on reasonableness of restrictions the panel observed the press is no longer as it was in 1970s. In comparison with United States it said “perhaps press in the US is worse than India”. The court and both parties agreed to proceed further after watching the documentary and adjourned the case to September 25.
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