Raj Kundra: Shilpa Shetty’s millionaire husband seeks bail in porn scandal case

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Police arrest businessman Raj Kundra in  Mumbai (AFP via Getty Images)
Police arrest businessman Raj Kundra in Mumbai (AFP via Getty Images)

Millionaire businessman Raj Kundra has applied for bail at the Bombay High Court in a case related to the production of pornographic films by a company with alleged ties to his firm.

Mr Kundra, who is married to popular Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, was arrested on 19 July by the Mumbai police and was sent to a 14-day judicial custody by a court in Mumbai.

The Mumbai police said in a statement that a case was registered with its crime branch in February this year against the production of pornographic films and publishing them on some apps.

Laws in India prohibit the publishing and transmission of “obscene material”, although watching such material in private is legal.

Mr Kundra was arrested in this case because he appears to be the “key conspirator,” the police, who claim to have “sufficient evidence” against him, have said.

An officer said the case in February was registered after a woman told the police she was forced to take part in a pornographic film in exchange for being promised an acting job.

Mr Kundra’s Viaan Industries had links with London-based company Kenrin, which owns an over-the-top (OTT) platform ‘Hotshots’ that was allegedly involved in publishing pornographic films, a senior police official was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

The official said Mr Kundra’s brother-in-law owns Kenrin.

The police also told a court in Mumbai that Hotshots had earned Rs 1.17 crore (about £100,000) between August and December 2020 from just the Apple store. Revenue from the Google Play Store is expected to be much higher, according to The Indian Express newspaper.

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and husband Raj Kundra (REUTERS)
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and husband Raj Kundra (REUTERS)

While challenging his arrest last week, Mr Kundra told the Bombay High Court in a plea that the videos which police claim to be pornographic do not show “explicit sexual acts”, but are short movies which are “lascivious.”

Ms Shetty also gave a statement to the Mumbai police in which she has denied any connection with Hotshots and told the police that the content on it can be categorised as erotica, not porn, according to reports.

The actor reportedly shouted at Mr Kundra when police brought him to their house in Mumbai for a search. Police sources told NDTV that a weeping Ms Shetty asked her husband “what was the need for him to be involved in this?” and said the “family's reputation was ruined”.

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