Mumbai

Raj Kundra walks out of Mumbai jail after bail in pornographic films case

Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty's husband Raj Kundra, who was granted bail on September 20 in a pornographic films case, leaves from Arthur Road Jail, in Mumbai on September 21, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Businessman Raj Kundra on September 21 walked out of a Mumbai jail, a day after a magistrate court in Mumbai granted bail to the key accused in a pornographic films case in which he was arrested two months ago.

Mr. Kundra was released from the Arthur Road jail shortly after 11.30 a.m., a jail official said.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S.B. Bhajipale on September 20 allowed Kundra’s bail application on furnishing a bond of ₹50,000.

Mr. Kundra’s associate and co-accused Ryan Thorpe, who was arrested along with him on July 19, was also granted bail by the court in the case pertaining to alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps.

The 46-year-old businessman was lodged in Arthur Road Jail in central Mumbai under judicial custody.

Mr. Kundra, the husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, was arrested by the Mumbai police’s crime branch after being booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Information Technology Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.

Mr. Kundra moved a bail plea before the metropolitan magistrate court on Saturday, days after the police filed a supplementary charge-sheet in the case.

In the plea, filed through advocate Prashant Patil, Mr. Kundra claimed there was not even an iota of evidence till date with the prosecution that would connect the app ‘Hotshots’, used in the alleged porn films racket, with an offence under law.

As per the probe agency, the ‘Hotshots’ app was being used by accused persons for uploading and streaming obscene content.

The businessman claimed there was no evidence of him being “actively” involved in creation of alleged questionable porn content.

Mr. Kundra alleged he was falsely implicated, was not even named in the FIR and was dragged by the respondent (police) in the case.

The businessman claimed in the plea that he is being made a “scapegoat” for reasons best known to investigators.

There is not a single allegation in the entire supplementary charge sheet against Mr. Kundra, Mr. Patil submitted before the court. Contents of the complaint in the case do not disclose any prima facie offence against Mr. Kundra, he said.

The public prosecutor opposed Mr. Kundra’s application, saying just because the charge sheet has been filed, it does not imply bail is to be granted to the accused.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Bhajipale, after hearing both sides, allowed Mr. Kundra’s application on furnishing a bail bond of ₹50,000.

The police, in their supplementary charge sheet, had claimed Mr. Kundra was the “main facilitator” in the case and he along with other accused exploited young women struggling in the movie industry by filming them in obscene ways.

The nearly 1,500-page charge-sheet against Mr. Kundra and Mr. Thorpe was filed in the court on September 15 by the crime branch.

Besides Mr. Kundra and Mr. Thorpe, Yash Thakur, a resident of Singapore, and London-based Pardeep Bakshi have been shown as wanted accused in the charge sheet.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 11:23:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/raj-kundra-walks-out-of-mumbai-jail-after-bail-in-pornographic-films-case/article36583815.ece

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