Bombay HC orders Netflix to first screen Indrani Mukerjea docu-series for CBI | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bombay HC orders Netflix to first screen Indrani Mukerjea docu-series for CBI

BySahyaja MS
Feb 22, 2024 02:44 PM IST

The docu-series, titled ‘The Indrani Mukerjea Story: The Buried Truth’, delves into the disappearance of 25-year-old Bora and was scheduled to premiere on streaming platform Netflix on Feb 23

The Bombay high court on Thursday ordered OTT platform Netflix to organise a pre-release screening of the documentary series “The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth” for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the agency sought a stay on the February 23 release of the series.

The documentary revolves around Indrani Mukerjea, the main accused in the Sheena Bora murder case. (Netflix India trailer screengrab)
The documentary revolves around Indrani Mukerjea, the main accused in the Sheena Bora murder case. (Netflix India trailer screengrab)

The documentary revolves around Indrani Mukerjea, the main accused in the Sheena Bora murder case.

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The CBI has filed a plea in the high court seeking to halt the release of the web series due to the ongoing trial in the Sheena Bora murder case after it failed to obtain a stay from the trial court.

A division bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Manjusha Deshpande suggested that it will be suitable for the CBI to preview the series before presenting any arguments regarding their plea for a stay.

Also Read: CBI moves HC after special court refuses to stay documentary series on Indrani Mukerjea

Initially expressing concern about potential pre-censorship, Netflix eventually agreed to the suggestion and assured the court that the series will not be aired until the next hearing – February 29.

The CBI, during the hearing on Thursday, emphasised that the series includes interviews with the accused and some witnesses in the case.

Advocate Shreeram Shirsat, representing the agency, argued that since the CBI had only viewed the trailer, they were unaware of the number of witnesses featured in the series.

The high court, therefore, requested Netflix to provide the exact count of witnesses interviewed.

Senior advocate Ravi Kadam, representing Netflix, informed the court that five witnesses, including Indrani’s son, Mikhael, and her daughter, Vidhie Mukerjea, were interviewed in the series.

He further added that the examination of two of the five witnesses had concluded, while three were yet to be examined.

Following this, the court suggested that Netflix could exhibit the series to the CBI before the bench proceeded with the matter.

“Why should the CBI not be allowed to see the series? She (Indrani) is an accused. The series is her depiction of what happened. One of the bail conditions is not to tamper with evidence. When you sort of interview people in support of your case... We are asking you, before we hear you, why cannot the CBI watch the series? What is the difficulty in sharing the docuseries?” the court asked.

Initially, Kadam opposed the suggestion, arguing that it might lead to pre-censorship and highlighting the absence of a gag order against the witnesses.

However, he later agreed to screen the series for selected CBI officers and lawyers, including additional solicitor general Devang Vyas.

The court also enquired whether Netflix could delay the release of the documentary until the next hearing.

“They should be allowed to view it. The release can be postponed by a week without dire consequences. If you’re unable to provide instructions and make a statement, we will issue this order,” the court stated.

As a result, Netflix agreed to defer the broadcast of the series until the next hearing.

The series, initially set to premiere on February 23, will now not be released until a further date of hearing.

Indrani was arrested in 2015 for allegedly murdering her daughter, Sheena Bora, with the assistance of her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, current husband Peter Mukerjea, and driver Shyamvar Rai in 2012.

In May 2022, the Supreme Court granted her bail.

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