Netflix has released part of its documentary series bad boy billionaires: india following a court victory after the us streaming company was prevented from airing the show last month.
Bad boy billionaires, which depicts the scandals surrounding a number of indian tycoons, was subject to repeated lawsuits by the protagonists ahead of its original release date in early september. netflix was forced to suspend the show after two of the industrialists secured court orders staying its release.
The streaming company finally unveiled three of four episodes on monday after a court in the indian state of bihar vacated the stay order filed by subrata roy, founder of the sahara india pariwar conglomerate. mr roy had been jailed for two years for contempt of court.
The as-yet unaired episode examines the case of ramalinga raju, whose software company satyam was behind a $1bn accounting scandal. it is still subject to a stay order issued by a court in the city of hyderabad, which netflix continues to contest.
While the suspension dealt a blow to netflix, the ensuing controversy has only served to drum up further interest in the show. bad boy billionaires is one of netflixs most ambitious documentary productions in india, as the us company ramps up original content for one of its most promising markets.
The four-part series is billed as an investigative docuseries [that] explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built up and ultimately brought down indias most infamous tycoons.
Also featured are vijay mallya, a fugitive liquor magnate, and celebrity jeweller nirav modi, who is being held in an uk jail. both fled to london after being accused of defrauding public sector banks and are fighting extradition to india. mr mallya and mr modi deny allegations of wrongdoing.
The messy court battles have drawn attention to the power and sway that the embattled tycoons continue to hold, particularly in their ability to leverage indias labyrinthine network of courts to their advantage.
Its welcome that this documentary has finally been able to be shown, but india's legal system is still misused for vexatious cases from the billionaire class far too often for comfort, said james crabtree, author of the billionaire raj and a former financial times journalist, who is interviewed in the series.
Mr roy, whose sahara empire included real estate, media and retail arms, was jailed in connection with a case involving a $4bn convertible bond issue found illegal by the indian courts. he left prison in 2016.
Mr raju was behind one of the biggest accounting scandals in indian history. he admitted in 2009 to inflating revenues at satyam, and was sentenced to seven years in 2015 but is no longer in jail.