In a private complaint about defamation, filed by Sahara India and its employees, a court of Special Chief Judicial Magistrate in Lucknow on Wednesday issued summons to Netflix director Abhisekh Nag, documentary director Nick Read and producer Reva Sharma. They are directed to appear before the Court on November 15.

It is alleged in the complaint that the web series 'Bad Boys Billionaires India' defames the complainants and the Chairman of Sahara Group Subrata Roy. The documentary series was released on Netflix last year.

Judge Sunil Kumar has directed the three accused to appear before the court to stand trial in the case for committing offences under IPC Sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter to be defamatory) and 502 (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter).

From a perusal of the complaint and the statements of witnesses Ghulam Zeeshan and Bhuvnesh Mani Tripathi, prima facie offences of defamation are made out against the three accused, the Court said in its order.

Sahara has also filed a suit seeking Rs. 500 crore damages against Netflix in Kolkata and the Court concerned has issued notices to Netflix for its response.

The documentary was released last year by the OTT platform amid objections raised by Sahara. It alleged that the accused prepared and released the said documentary series on Netflix on October 5, 2020 in the most defamatory manner, to tarnish the image of Sahara and its chief.

The complaint stated, a bare look at the documentary indicates that in the lust of making the documentary spicier and rhetoric, all the accused willfully connived and attempted to portray the chairman of Sahara Group in bad taste, without there being any material evidence against him.

The witnesses stated that the documentary was prepared only to gain commercial benefit and hence the Netflix spiced up the documentary by portraying a bad image of Subrata Roy and Sahara India Pariwar, which is not only objectionable but defamatory also.

Sahara had opposed the documentary from the very beginning and tried to convince Netflix not to release it on its web portal, but the same was released.

With PTI inputs