Netflix partially releases 'Bad Boy Billionaires' amid legal battles
Streaming giant Netflix has finally released the controversial documentary Bad Boy Billionaires in India and around the world. The series, based on four of India's most infamous tycoons -- Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Subrata Roy and B Ramalinga Raju, had been stalled for over a month after the latter two moved court against it. Here are more details.
Three out of the total four episodes in the docuseries are now available for streaming. They are "The King of Good Times" based on liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, "Diamonds Aren't Forever" about fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi, and "The World's Biggest Family" about Sahara India chief Subrata Roy. However, one episode, about Satyam Computer Services' founder Ramalinga Raju, has been held by Netflix.
After a month-long legal tussle, Netflix decided to go ahead with the show as a Bihar court on Saturday lifted the stay it had last month imposed on release of the series. The lower court in the Araria district had earlier asked Netflix not to use the name of Roy. The Sahara chief had argued the series was an attempt to damage his image.
The episode on Ramalinga Raju, however, has not been released, as he has been granted a stay by a Hyderabad court. The matter will be further taken up on Monday by the Telangana High Court. The HC had earlier on Friday observed that an individual can not block the release of a documentary that is based on information already available in the public domain.
Earlier, another fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, whose name also appears in the series, had approached the Delhi High Court against the series. He had argued that the documentary could affect his reputation and the ongoing probe. The Delhi HC had dismissed the plea, and asked the Centre to regulate digital content. The Centre, however, refused to intervene in the matter.
Subrata Roy, currently on bail, has been ordered by a court to repay billions of dollars to investors over a fraudulent scheme. He, however, has denied any wrongdoing and claims to have already repaid investors. Raju, on the other hand, is accused of a $1 billion accounting fraud. Meanwhile, both Modi and Mallya, currently in the UK, are facing extradition attempts by India.
Netflix describes the show as, "(an) investigative docuseries (that) explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built up — and ultimately brought down — India's most infamous tycoons." The series has been produced by Minnow Films and Jigsaw Productions, and directed by Dylan Mohan Gray. Francis Longhurst and Reva Sharma served as producers, while Brad Hebert, Stacey Offman and Ricardo Pollack as executive producers.