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    'Bad Boy Billionaires' row: No relief for Netflix, Patna HC asks streaming service to approach local court

    Synopsis

    The HC has directed the lower court to decide the injunction moved by Sahara India within 2 weeks of filing.

    Reuters
    In a setback for Netflix, the Supreme Court on September 2 had refused to vacate the stay granted by Bihar Court.
    NEW DELHI: The Patna High Court on Friday refused to vacate stay granted by a local Court in Bihar on the release of Netflix's upcoming series "Bad Boy Billionaires".

    The High Court has asked Netflix, the appellant, to approach the lower Court and directed the lower Court to decide the injunction moved by Sahara India within two weeks of filing.

    Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar assisted by Advocate Amit Shrivastava arguing on behalf of Netflix sought vacation of stay ordered by an Araria Court in Bihar last month. The High Court, however, refused to vacate the stay and directed Netflix to approach the Araria Court for final disposal.

    An Araria Court in Bihar, last month, had restrained Netflix from using businessman Subrata Roy’s name in its upcoming web series “Bad Boy Billionaires”.

    In a setback for Netflix, the Supreme Court on September 2 had refused to vacate the stay granted by Bihar Court.

    The series was slated for release at 12 noon on September 2. Another court in Hyderabad had also restrained Netflix from releasing the series on a plea filed by B Ramalinga Raju, Satyam Computer Services founder who was convicted in the case.

    Netflix gets over 15 million new subscribers in Q1 due to Covid-19 lockdown

    As the lockdown prompted by the spread of novel coronavirus has increased the online content consumption, Netflix reported an increase of 15.8 million subscribers in its first quarter. According to The Verge, the increase in the number of subscribers of the platform is more than half of what was expected. However, an increase of 7.2 million subscribers was expected from the platform. As per The Verge, the popular online video streaming platform now has 182 million subscribers across the globe. The quarterly revenue of the company stood at USD 5.77 billion.

    As first reported by ET, last month a lower Court in Bihar had restrained Netflix from using the name of Sahara Chairman Subrata Roy in its upcoming web series. Netflix had moved the Supreme Court filing two petitions. The first petition, a special leave petition, sought vacation of stay on the order passed by the Bihar court. The other petition sought transfer of all such injunctions passed by various courts to Bombay High Court.

    The Supreme Court refused to entertain the SLP seeking vacation of stay ordered by Bihar Court directing it to Patna High Court to seek vacation of stay. However, in the other petition which sought transfer of cases to Bombay High Court, the Supreme Court had issued notices as Netflix is headquartered in Mumbai A court in Araria, Bihar last month ruled it was granting to Roy on balance of convenience and irreparable loss to defendants including their employees, directors, officers, associates or any person or entity acting on their behalf or under their authority restraining 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 of Bad Boy Billionaires using the name of Subrata Roy till the appearance of the defendant and filing show cause.”

    Roy had alleged that a London-based director had met him in Lucknow in 2019 claiming that a web feature will be made on his. He has further alleged that he was told that the web feature would be titled “Billionaires.”

    Roy’s counsel had contended that the Netflix series “Bad Boy Billionaires” is an attempt to tarnish his client’s image by putting Roy in the series which also features fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Harshad Mehta.

    The case was deferred to December 2 by the Bihar court.

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