Delhi High Court adjourned till November 6, a petition filed by businessman and diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who is an accused in the PNB scam, against the Netflix documentary titled ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’.
Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.
Choksi left the country last year and was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda. Delhi HC dismisses Mehul Choksi’s plea seeking pre-screening of Netflix series Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Choksi, said there is a footage about his client in the series which allegedly shows him in a bad light and therefore, could affect the various proceedings against him in India.
Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Netflix, told the bench that the trailer, based on which the initial plea was filed before the single judge, does not refer to Choksi or name him. This claim of Netflix was opposed by Aggarwal who sought permission from the court to show the trailer of the series on the next date of hearing, September 29.
During the hearing, the bench said the “conduct of the petitioner is also of some relevance” when a constitutional court is deciding whether to exercise its writ jurisdiction. The single judge had dismissed Choksi”s plea on the ground that he had an alternative remedy available — of filing a civil suit — and that a writ petition for enforcement of a private right was not maintainable.
Aggarwal contended that his client”s fundamental right to a fair trial and investigation would be affected by the airing of the series and therefore, a writ was maintainable. He urged the bench that the matter be sent back to the single judge for being heard as a writ. Why has Mehul Choksi moved HC against Netflix original Bad Boy Billionaires The court, however, asked, “Is your (Choksi) conduct consistent with what you desire? Your are not under trial now. You claim fair trial and fair investigation, but is your conduct consistent with that claim?” It also noted that after going to the US for treatment, Choksi obtained citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda with “terrific alacrity”.
The observation by the court came after Aggarwal said that Choksi left for New York for treatment on January 4, 2018 and then took the oath of allegiance in Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. “It is terrific alacrity for someone with medical ailments,” the bench observed. Aggarwal responded to the comment by saying that it was only a four hour flight from New York to Antigua and Barbuda and his client went to the US as his doctor was there and he was being treated there for some time.