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Bombay High Court directs Netflix to show the Indrani Mukerjea documentary series for CBI first

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) requested a hold on the documentary series’ February 23 release, and the Bombay high court granted their request on Thursday. As a result, Netflix, an over-the-top platform, was ordered to arrange a pre-release screening of the series for the CBI.

The primary accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, Indrani Mukerjea, is the focus of the documentary.

After failing to get a stay from the trial court, the CBI made a petition in the high court to stop the distribution of the web series since the Sheena Bora murder case is still pending.

A division bench consisting of Justices Manjusha Deshpande and Revati Mohite Dere recommended that the CBI watch the series first before making any arguments on their request for a stay of proceedings.

After first raising concerns about possible pre-censorship, Netflix finally accepted the recommendation and gave the court the assurance that the series wouldn’t premiere until the next hearing on February 29.

Interviews with the accused and some case witnesses are part of the series, the CBI emphasized at Thursday’s session.

The agency’s advocate, Shreeram Shirsat, said that the CBI was ignorant about the number of witnesses in the series since they had only seen the trailer.

As a result, the high court asked Netflix to provide the precise number of witnesses it had questioned.

Netflix’s senior attorney Ravi Kadam told the court that five people were questioned for the documentary, including Indrani’s daughter Vidhie Mukerjea and son Mikhael.

He went on to say that three of the five witnesses were still being questioned, while the examination of two of them had finished.

After that, the court recommended that Netflix provide the series to the CBI prior to the bench taking any action.

Why shouldn’t the CBI be able to see the show? Indrani is the one being accused. She portrays what transpired in the series. Not tampering with evidence is one of the bail requirements. Before we hear from you, we would want to know why the CBI is unable to see the series when you kind of conduct interviews with individuals to support your case. Why is it so hard to share the docuseries? The court enquired.

At first, Kadam objected to the idea, pointing out that there was no gag order protecting the witnesses and that it may result in pre-censorship.

Afterwards, however, he consented to show the series to a few CBI personnel and attorneys, among them Devang Vyas, the additional solicitor general.

The court also asked Netflix whether it might postpone the documentary’s publication until the next hearing.

“They ought to be let to see it. There are no serious repercussions if the release is delayed by one week. We shall issue this order if you are unable to provide directions and make a statement,” the court said.

Consequently, Netflix agreed to postpone the series’ premiere until after the subsequent hearing.

Originally scheduled to debut on February 23, the series will now not air until a later hearing date.

Indrani was taken into custody in 2015 on suspicion of killing her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012 with the help of her driver Shyamvar Rai, current husband Peter Mukerjea, and previous spouse Sanjeev Khanna.

The Supreme Court granted her bail in May of 2022.

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