Netflix- Bad Boy Billionaires
Netflix- Bad Boy Billionaires
Litigation News

"You should not have come here": Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea by Netflix assailing order of Bihar court

The Supreme Court was directly moved to challenge the order of a court in Araria, Bihar, which had granted an interim stay on the airing of Netflix’s 'Bad Boy Billionaires'.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a petition filed by Netflix challenging an order of a lower court in Bihar, which had restrained the OTT platform from releasing, transmitting, distributing, and exhibiting the upcoming web series 'Bad Boy Billionaires' or its trailer using Subrata Roy's name.

The Lower Court's order was challenged before the Supreme Court which led to the question being raised from the Bench as regards the propriety of moving the Supreme Court against an order passed by a Court of first instance. Netflix's petition had assailed the order of a Sub Judge in Bihar's Araria.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices Arun Mishra, AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian questioned the online streaming platform as to why it approached the Supreme Court directly.

"This is not the proper forum to come to after the order is passed by a lower court. You have deliberately come here, you should not have come here."
CJI Bobde

Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who was representing Netflix, said that there was also a transfer petition filed along with the instant petition challenging the Bihar court's order.

Moreover, as regards the pending case in Araria, Rohatgi said that it was questionable as to why a case was filed ina "remote place" lile Araria. The Senior Counsel also argued that additionally, there were other similar matters coming up in other courts as well and proceeded to give an example of a case that is likely to come up before a court in Hyderabad. This formed the basis for filing the transfer petition, Rohatgi argued.

However, the Court said it would not consider the petition assailing the lower court's order, and asked Netflix to approach the appropriate forum.

"We are dismissing this petition (against Bihar Court's order), you may approach the appropriate forum. We may consider the transfer petition"
CJI SA Bobde said

Rohatgi said that Netflix would move the Patna High Court, and requested the Court to record in its order that the matter may be heard by the High Court expeditiously.

Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, appearing for the respondents, intervened to say that the appropriate appellate forum may be approached, that is the district court in the instant matter. The High Court may not be moved directly, Singh submitted.

CJI Bobde, however, countered the submission by the Counsel to say, "When we are dictating the order, please don't tell us how to pass orders."

When the Court gave Netflix liberty to approach the appropriate forum, Rohatgi sought permission to withdraw the petition from the Supreme Court. As such, the case was dismissed as withdrawn.

Rohatgi had pressed for notice to be issued on the transfer petition which sought for all cases registered across the country in relation to the series to be transferred before one Court. Supreme Court Bench has issued notice on the same.

On August 28, a court in Araria, Bihar granted an interim stay on the airing of Netflix’s 'Bad Boy Billionaires'. This series also features Subrata Roy as one of its central protagonists.

Roy had alleged that his reputation was being maligned through this web series and claimed that irreparable damage to his reputation would be caused on account of this series.

The Araria Court, in its order of August 28 ruled:

"We are of the considered view that the plaintiff (Roy) has qualified tripartite test of prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable loss and grant of ad interim injunction in its favour as such the defendants including their employees, directors, officers, associates or any person or entity acting on their behalf or under their authority are restrained from releasing transmitting, distributing, exhibiting, performing or communicating to the public by any means or technology by audio or video performance of the impugned trailer and series of Bad Boy Billionaires using the name of Subrata Roy till the appearance of the defendant and filing show cause.”

The Court had also stated that this order was interim in nature and the matter would be decided on merits.

Last week, the Delhi High Court dismissed Mehul Choksi's petition seeking a pre-screening of Bad Boy Billionaires, which is scheduled to be released on September 2.

Choksi had moved the High Court earlier last week alleging that the Netflix series had the propensity to prejudice the investigation and trial against him, as it featured his nephew and co-accused in the PNB scam case, Nirav Modi.

Read Bihar Court's order:

Araria Court's order in Subrata Roy's plaint against Netflix.pdf
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