The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain OTT platform Netflix's petition against a local Bihar Court's Order restraining the use of Subrata Roy's name in the upcoming web series 'Bad Boy Billionaires'.
The Bench presided over by CJI SA Bobde asked Netflix to approach the appropriate forum for relief and stated that the Supreme Court was not that forum.
Appearing for the OTT platform, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi informed Court that the series was due to be released today which necessitated an urgent hearing.
"Doesn't matter. This is not the forum, you should have gone to the High Court", remarked the CJI in response.
Rohatgi went on to highlight that Roy had approached a remote Court in Bihar from where he was granted stay and another local Court in Hyderabad had also stayed the release of the series, due to which he had also filed a transfer petition.
The senior advocate thus emphasized that the release of the series was being jeopardized, however the CJI was not inclined to hear the matter and reiterated that he should have approached an appellate Court in Bihar.
"The procedure does not allow you to challenge a lower court order directly before us…this is not the proper forum…you have come here deliberately", stated the Chief Justice.
"Not deliberate, my lord. He approached a remote Court in Bihar and now it is stayed. There's another matter in Hyderabad. For that we've filed a transfer", responded Rohatgi.
As the Bench was dismissing the SLP, Rohatgi sought permission to withdraw the same and urged the Court to consider his transfer petition. He also urged the CJI to direct Patna High Court to hear the matter expeditiously.
Allowing the plea to be withdrawn, the Top Court then issued notice in the transfer petition. However, the Bench issued no direction with regard to an expeditious hearing by the High Court.
Thus, dismissing the SLP as withdrawn, the Apex Court granted Netflix liberty to approach the appropriate forum and challenge the Order of the local Bihar Court.
The OTT platform had moved the Apex Court with two petitions- one was the SLP which sought vacation of stay ordered by the Bihar Court and the other was a transfer petition for all cases to be brought before the Bombay High Court.
This move came after the Bihar Court passed its Order on Roy's plea last week and a Hyderabad Court Order which stayed the release of the series on a plea filed by Satyam Computer Services founder, Ramalinga Raju.