After Karnataka HC order, Netflix blocks episode in crime documentary series

Streaming giant Netflix has blocked the first episode of its new crime documentary series, “Crime Stories: India Detectives”, in the wake of an order from the Karnataka high court.

One Sridhar Rao had petitioned the high court against the telecast of the said episode, after which the court had issued the order on October 1. Rao is an accused in the murder documented in the first episode of the series.

A single-judge bench of the Karnataka high court headed by Justice B M Shyam Prasad in its interim order directed Netflix “to block streaming, broadcasting, telecasting or otherwise making available the content of the Episode No. 1 of the Series 1 of the documentary ‘Crime Stories: India Detectives’ titled ‘A Murdered Mother’”.

Rao said in his plea that “the content being available for viewing the petitioner would be put to harassment and prejudice”.

The first episode of the crime documentary series features the story of the murder of a mother by her own daughter in Bengaluru. A friend of the daughter is shown as a possible accomplice in the murder case, where the suspects are eventually arrested in Port Blair.

In his petition in the high court, Rao has stated that he is under trial for offences punishable under Sections 302 and 307, 212, 201 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in the crime registered by Bengaluru Police. He said that the Netflix episode contains visuals of the investigation of the case by the police and that some of the content could affect his defence.

The episode contains an interview recorded during the investigation and the video recording of a purported confession, the petitioner told the high court.

“The petitioner’s right to a free and fair trial is severely prejudiced. This is apart from violating the petitioner’s privacy, and the content, without any justification, exposes the petitioner to ridicule and harassment by the public at large,” Rao had argued.

While Rao approached a civil court to issue an interim order to block the streaming of the episode, it was argued that the civil court did not issue any interim order.

The Karnataka high court in its interim order has asked for the blocking of the streaming of the first episode of the “Crime Stories: India Detectives” series until further orders.

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