Bombay HC questions docu-series makers on portrayal of pending witnesses in Sheena Bora case

'The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth' is scheduled to be released on Netflix on February 23. Photo: Netflix

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the makers of the Netflix docuseries “The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth” to indicate if any of the witnesses who are yet to be examined in the Sheena Bora trial, feature in the series. 

The docuseries, set to premiere on Netflix on February 23, 2024, explores the disappearance of Sheena Bora and the subsequent investigation into her murder.

A division bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere and Justice Manjusha Deshpande asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to give the makers of witnesses to be examined and asked them to inform the court if these persons feature in the series. “Take instructions if any of the witnesses to be examined are featured in the web series”, said the court to counsel of the makers. 

While hearing the CBI's plea seeking to halt the release till the conclusion of the trial, Justice Dere questioned the CBI's apprehensions regarding the release of the docuseries. CBI has also sought an ad-interim stay on the release till the pendency of the petition. 

Senior Advocate Ravi Kadam for Netflix objected to the petition based on the absence of legal grounds for a writ against a private entity like Netflix. He pointed out that there are already podcasts as well as two books about the case.

Kadam pointed out that the issue in Black Friday (a movie about the 1993 Bombay bombings), the release of which was temporarily stayed on a writ petition by the accused, was whether there was contempt of court or defamation of the accused in the movie and regarding the censor certificate. However, none of these elements are present in the present case, he said. 

Justice Dere sought clarification from the CBI on the maintainability of the plea and questioned who would be influenced by the series.

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