Telangana High Court to watch 'Bad Boy Billionaires'

Telangana High Court to watch Bad Boy Billionaires
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Highlights

  • Netflix files plea in HC seeking permission to release the documentary
  • City Civil Court, Hyderabad, has stalled the release of the documentary based on the contention of Ramalinga Raju that it would tarnish his image

Hyderabad: The High Court will watch Netflix documentary 'Bad Boy Billionaires', based on Satyam Computers founder Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, before giving nod for release of the same.

The High Court Special Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy heard a plea filed by Netflix Entertainment Service India seeking permission to release its stalled documentary.

Counsel for Netflix, Mr Neeraj Kishan Kaul informed the Court that it is a docuseries that it comprises on a source from something or the other which is in the public domain.

The moment something is in the public domain, there is no right to privacy that can be referred to by anyone. Kaul added that the release of Netflix's 'Bad Boy Billionaires' was stalled without hearing its client's side. He urged the Court to watch the documentary for observation.

Earlier, XXV Additional Chief Judge, City Civil Courts, Hyderabad had stalled the release of the documentary based on the contention of Ramalinga Raju that it would tarnish his image.

Chief Justice Chauhan pointed out that there are a lot of hurdles in the freedom of speech and expression that would be an extremely dangerous proposition of law to establish by any court.

The Court observes that the press is no longer what it used to be. We need to have a rethinking on the extent of the freedom of speech and expression that the press would be justified in claiming its share.

Chief Justice Chauhan stated that "Yes, there is freedom of press undoubtedly, there is freedom of speech and expression, perhaps the time has come, when we must revisit the issue now". Since 1970s the judiciary has been rushing every time to protect the press, please also reconsider this issue, CJ opines.

Is the press of 2020 what it was in 1970... or like every other institution that has seen a certain decline? Perhaps the press is not as pure as it used to be, perhaps it is not of a great status it used to be, and it is not only about the press in India, perhaps the press in the US is in the worst position than what it is in India, Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan added.

The Court wishes to watch the documentary at the weekend for observation. The weblink of the documentary was provided to the court by the petitioner counsel.

The Court directed both the parties to submit written arguments by September 24. The matter was adjourned to September 25.

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