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Netflix’s"The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth," Docuseries Delayed: Why?

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on February 26, 2024, 12:17:39


Netflix, India, Sheena Bora, Indrani Mukerjea, documentary

Netflix's much-anticipated docuseries, "The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth," originally slated for release on February 23, faces an indefinite delay, now postponed at least until February 29.

The reason behind this unexpected halt stems from the intervention of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has approached the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the series' release.

The crux of the matter revolves around concerns raised by the CBI that the docuseries, delving into the notorious Sheena Bora murder case, could potentially prejudice the ongoing trial.

Netflix, in response to the CBI's appeal, has informed the Bombay High Court that they will withhold the release until the next court hearing on February 29. Furthermore, Netflix has pledged to arrange a special screening for both the CBI officials and the judges involved in the case.

The Case

The Sheena Bora murder case unfolded in 2015 when Shyamwar Rai, a former driver for prominent media personalities Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, confessed during police interrogation to his involvement in Bora's murder.

Rai's revelation implicated Indrani and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna in the crime, alleging that they conspired to kill Bora due to her romantic involvement with Peter's son Rahul.

Despite Indrani vehemently denying the allegations and even claiming that Bora is alive and well abroad, all three individuals, along with Peter, who was later arrested by the CBI, are currently facing trial in a Mumbai special court.

The primary contention raised by the CBI against the release of the docuseries revolves around its apprehension that the content could potentially influence public opinion and sway witnesses' testimonies, thereby jeopardising the integrity of the ongoing trial. Specifically, the CBI has objected to the show's promotional claims of featuring "new revelations and unprecedented access," asserting that such assertions could mislead the public and prejudice the case.

Moreover, the CBI has expressed concerns over the inclusion of Indrani's son Mikhail and daughter Vidhie in the docuseries, both of whom are pivotal witnesses in the case. According to the CBI, this inclusion violates Indrani's bail conditions, which prohibit her from contacting witnesses until all evidence is recorded.

In response to the CBI's objections, Netflix has argued against the imposition of pre-censorship, contending that halting the release of the docuseries would infringe upon freedom of expression. However, acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Netflix has agreed to defer the release until the next court hearing.

This incident raises broader questions about censorship, freedom of speech, and the right to a fair trial. Courts are tasked with balancing these fundamental rights, ensuring that while freedom of expression is upheld, it does not unduly interfere with the administration of justice.

Notably, concerns regarding privacy and dignity are often raised by witnesses and family members involved in such cases, underscoring the complex legal landscape surrounding high-profile trials like the Sheena Bora murder case.

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