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In the late hours of July 19, news of Raj Kundra’s arrest sent shockwaves through the Bollywood film industry. Husband to actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and the father of two had been arrested for allegedly creating pornographic films and publishing them through some mobile applications. With the case getting murkier by the minute, we look at what is being said by the police and Bollywood stars who are linked to the case:
Image Credit: Instagram.com/rajkundra9/
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Raj Kundra is arrested: The businessman was arrested by Mumbai Police on July 19 for his connection with filming pornographic content that was being through mobile apps. In a media statement, the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Hemant Nagrale confirmed Kundra had been arrested. “There was a case registered with Crime Branch Mumbai in February 2021 about the creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some Apps. We’ve arrested Mr Raj Kundra in this case on 19/7/21 as he appears to be the key conspirator of this,” the statement read.
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What are the charges: Kundra has reportedly been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 420 of cheating, 34 for common intention, along with 292 and 293 that involves indulging in the obscene act in public places and publicly exhibiting or circulating obscene books or literature and under the Information Technology Act and under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Image Credit: PTI
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How long will he stay in jail: Kundra has been remanded to police custody in Mumbai until July 23 following a court hearing that took place earlier today on July 20.
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Was Kundra under investigation: According to a Times of India report, Kundra’s name first appeared in the probe after the Property Cell of Mumbai Police came across the involvement of a UK production company, Kenrin, whose executive, Umesh Kamat was arrested. He was the former employee of Kundra and was accused of uploading at least eight “pornographic and obscene” videos shot by Gehna Vasisth on a social media app.
Image Credit: Instagram.com/rajkundra9
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Wait, isn’t Gehna Vasisth that Indian TV actress: Yes, Gehna Vasisth starred in the Ekta Kapoor-backed web series ‘Gandii Baat’. In February, Mumbai Police arrested the actress for her connection to a First Information Report registered that claimed women were being forced to expose for pornographic films. According to the police at the time, several new apps and websites streaming pornographic content had been under scrutiny for luring girls by promising them roles in their ‘web series’ and eventually pressurising them to act in semi-porn films. Vasisth, whose real name is Vandana Tiwari, allegedly shot some of these videos.
Image Credit: Screengrab / Kalinga TV
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How is Vasisth linked to Kundra: Vasisth happens to be currently out on bail in connection to the same case that reportedly caught up to Kundra. In fact, following Kundra’s arrest, Vasisth had her publicist issue a statement that read: “The law will take its course. We have full faith in Mumbai Police, but they should not mix up porn with erotica or bold content... The courts will eventually decide during trial as to who are the real culprits and which of the arrested accused were merely used, by others.” Refusing to name Kundra, the statement further read: “We don’t want to comment any more, as Gehana is on bail in the same cases and she does not want to prejudice or impair her right to her personal defence. However, police should investigate fully as there are many more skeletons in the cupboards of the rich and famous.”
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Who is Poonam Pandey and why is issuing statements in the Kundra arrest? Poonam Pandey is a model and actress from India who has made a name for herself through her racy images and adult content. In 2019, she filed a complaint in Bombay High Court against Kundra and his associates at Armsprime Media where she alleged they were illegally using content featuring her for an app they had developed even after a contract between the two parties had been terminated. She further alleged the developers had given out her personal number on the app, with the message asking people to call her for a good time. Kundra and his associate Saurabh Kushwah denied Pandey’s charge and legal proceedings have been ongoing. Subsequently, Kundra also stated he had quit the company in 2019 and had nothing to do with the case.
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Following Kundra’s arrest, Pandey issued a statement to Times of India saying that her heart went out Shetty Kundra and their kids at this time. “I can’t imagine what she must be going through. So, I refuse to use this opportunity to highlight my trauma,” she said. “The only thing I’ll add is that I have filed a police complaint in 2019 against Raj Kundra and subsequently registered a case at the honourable high court of Bombay against him for fraud and theft. This matter is sub judice, hence I would prefer to limit my statements. Also, I have full faith in our police and the judicial process.”
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How is actress Sherlyn Chopra involved? Along with Pandey, actress-model Sherlyn Chopra was earlier linked to the soft porn case with the duo blaming Kundra for bringing them to the adult industry. Other details Chopra included in her police statemnet was that she as paid Rs300,000 for each project and so far, she had done about 15 to 20 projects for Kundra.
Image Credit: Twitter.com/sherlynchopra
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What is Kundra saying: Kundra had rubbished the allegations made by them and sought anticipatory bail in June in the case based on a complaint that alleged that certain online platforms were publishing obscene videos as a part of their web series. Kundra had even denied having any links to the alleged porn apps case citing that he had exited from the company in 2019.
Image Credit: Insta/rajkundra9
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Has Shetty Kundra said anything following her husband’s arrest: While no statement has been issued as yet from the actress, the latter has been busy promoting her big Bollywood comeback ‘Hungama 2’, which incidentally releases this Friday, July 23, on a streaming platform in India.
Image Credit: Insta/theshilpashetty
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How long have the couple been married: Shetty Kundra and her husband were married in 2009 and have two children, a son named Viaan and a daughter named Samisha who was born via surrogacy. Kundra was previously married to a woman named Kavita who allegedly had an affair with his sister’s husband while she was married to him. Kundra and Kavita were married in 2003 but filed for divorce in 2006.
Image Credit: IANS