Netflix’s documentary series Bad Boy Billionaires: India was supposed to come out on Wednesday afternoon. It even survived a lawsuit by Mehul Choksi at the Delhi High Court, which junked his petition. But two of the other billionaires, Subrata Roy and Ramalinga Raju both reportedly obtained court orders staying the series’ release from courts in Hyderabad and Araria, Bihar. Now, the show, which was supposed to release at 12:30pm, has been delayed, with not even the trailer being visible on the service. The series seems to be unavailable everywhere in the world, not just in India, where the courts blocking the series’ release have jurisdiction.
When Netflix challenged the Bihar order on Wednesday at the Supreme Court, they were reportedly told that they “should not have come here,” and directed to appeal at the Patna High Court instead. Netflix declined to comment on the lawsuits.
Bad Boy Billionaires covers the fall from grace of four Indian billionaires: Ramalinga Raju, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Subrata Roy. Dylan Mohan Gray, a filmmaker who directed the instalment on Vijay Mallya, disagreed with the businessmen’s arguments in court that the show would prejudice their right to a fair trial. “Every single assertion in #badboybillionaires has been verified & factchecked to a degree utterly unheard of in Indian media,” he tweeted. “The two tycoons [Roy and Raju] blocking [the series’] release have been tried and convicted of the offences detailed in the films about them.”
This seems to be the first time a title’s release on Netflix in India has been delayed due to litigation. The closest comparable incident is when Netflix cancelled plans to release Hotel Mumbai in India due to disagreements between rightsholders. The film ended up releasing on ZEE5 later, with Netflix only releasing it in South Korea.