Indian businessman and producer Raj Kundra was granted bail on September 20 by Mumbai Court in the pornography racket case after spending more than two months in jail.
Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, was arrested on July 19 for allegedly producing and distributing adult content on mobile apps.
According to reports, Kundra, 46, was granted bail on an assured sum of Rs50,000 (approx Dh2,300). He was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
Here’s what you need to know about the Kundra case ….
How did Raj Kundra get bail?
On September 18, Kundra moved a fresh bail application in a court in Mumbai Court, claiming that he was being made a “scapegoat” and that there was not single evidence in the supplementary charge sheet of him being actively involved in the creation of alleged questionable content and distributing it on apps such as HotShots and BollyFame. The crime branch, probing the case, had recently filed a 1,400-page charge sheet against Kundra and three others in the case pertaining to alleged creation and distribution of pornographic films. Before being granted bail today, his applications for bail was repeatedly rejected. His request for temporary relief in July was also rejected.
What did the police find against Kundra?
During their probe, it was found that Kundra set up Armsprime Media Pvt Ltd – which through London-based Kenrin Pvt Lt – purchased Hotshots app to upload adult videos on social media. The Mumbai Police had mentioned that he is the key conspirator in this racket. According to a report in Economic Times, the probe team claimed that Kundra earned over Rs10.17 million between August and December by uploading pornographic content online through Hotshots. Several other reports claim that the probe team found 51 adult videos --35 with Hotshots logo and 16 with BollyFame logo -- during their searches at the office of the accused.
What is his wife and actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s stand?
Shilpa Shetty Kundra has reportedly maintained that she was unaware of her husband’s business dealings. In her statement to Mumbai Police, she said she was too busy with work to know what her husband was up to. Her statement was a part of the 1,400-page chargesheet filed against her husband Kundra and the IT head of his company Ryan Thorpe.
“Kundra started Viaan industries Limited in 2015 and I was one of the directors till 2020 when I resigned due to personal reasons,” Shetty Kundra was quoted as saying in an article that appeared in Indian Express. Shetty Kundra has kept a low profile since her husband’s arrest in July, but she wrote a strong social media post urging the local media to grant her and her young children privacy and not to tarnish her reputation or attribute quotes from her about her husband’s arrest in news articles. She made select public appearances and has been posting posts about learning from past mistakes and moving on in life. She also spoke about how yoga has helped her through her tough periods at a virtual fund-raising event.
“It is natural to have negative thoughts during tough times but to control that, it is important to control your breath. That is why pranayama has become integral to remain positive and improve breathing. I really hope that these pranayamas help you in your daily life and in your immunity and health,” said Shetty Kundra at that event.
Her sister Shamita Shetty, who particpated in Bigg Boss OTT during her brother-in-law's arrest, also extended her moral support towards her sister.
How many arrests were made apart from Kundra being taken into police custody?
11 persons have been arrested by the Mumbai Police in this case that was busted after a raid at a bungalow in Madh Island in February this year. Mumbai Police. The police had already filed a chargesheet against nine persons in April this year, and the rest have been charged in the supplementary chargesheet filed this September.
What did the charge sheet filed by Mumbai Police say?
According to reports, the 1,467-page charge sheet contained statements of 43 witnesses, including statements of five persons recorded under section 164 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) before metropolitan magistrates. Several witnesses recorded their statements and based on that evidence, the crime branch raided Kundra’s office in Andheri (West) and allegedly seized several electronic gadgets, storage devices and porn clips, related to the racket. Based on the evidence recovered from Kundra’s office, the property cell arrested Kundra and his IT head Thorpe on July 19. Ryan Thorpe was also granted bail on September 20 along with Kundra.