The petition claimed that the contents of the episode infringed on the petitioner's right to privacy and chance of fair trial.

Karnataka HC orders Netflix to stop airing first episode of Crime Stories India Detectives
news Controversy Sunday, October 03, 2021 - 14:28

The Karnataka High Court has passed an interim order restricting Netflix from airing the first episode of Crime Stories: India Detectives documentary series, titled ‘A Murdered Mother’, based on the plea made by one of the accused. The episode features the Bengaluru police probe on the murder of Nirmala Chandrasekhar (54) allegedly carried out by her daughter Amrutha in February 2020, with the help of co-accused Sridhar Rao. Sridhar Rao, who was arrested along with Amrutha, has now filed the petition against the episode.

A single bench of Justice BM Shyam Prasad in his October 1 order said, “In consideration of these submissions, the respondents, subject to further orders, are called upon to block streaming, broadcasting, telecasting or otherwise making available the content of the Episode No 1 of the documentary ‘Crime Stories. India Detective’ titled ‘A Murdered Mother’.” Following the order, the episode has now been made unavailable.

Rao had approached the High Court after the civil court did not give him prompt relief. The petition by Rao claimed that the contents of the episode infringed on his right to privacy and chance of fair trial. Rao is the co-accused in the murder case of the 54-year-old woman who was allegedly killed by her daughter Amrutha, who is the prime accused. HC took note of the submission made by Rao's advocate stating, “This content prejudices the petitioner's defence as it contains interview recorded during the investigation and video recording of a purported confession. 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.” 

In the murder case, Rao is undergoing trial for multiple offences which includes offences punishable under Sections 302 (punishment for murder)  and 307 (attempt to murder), 212 (harbouring offender), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence) read with Section 34 (criminal act done by several persons with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

The first four episodes of the series are based on real crime stories that took place in Bengaluru and are currently available on the streaming platform. In the following episodes, similar crime stories from Delhi and other parts of the country will be featured. 

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