Raj Kundra released from Mumbai jail after bail in pornographic films case
Businessman Raj Kundra on Tuesday walked out of a Mumbai jail, a day after a local court in Mumbai granted bail to the key accused in a pornographic films case in which he was arrested two months ago. A jail official said Kundra was released from the Arthur Road Jail shortly after 11.30am, according to news agency PTI. Kundra was seen in a grey t-shirt surrounded by a clutch of reporters as he left the jail in a red car.
Chief metropolitan magistrate SB Bhajipale on Monday allowed Kundra's bail application on furnishing a bond of ₹50,000. The 46-year-old businessman's associate and co-accused Ryan Thorpe, who was also arrested along with him on July 19, was also granted bail by the court in the case pertaining to the alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps. Raj Kundra was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Information Technology Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Kundra, who is Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband, was lodged in Arthur Road Jail in central Mumbai under judicial custody. Last Saturday, Kundra moved a bail plea before the metropolitan magistrate court after the police filed a supplementary charge sheet in the case. Kundra claimed in the plea, which he filed through advocate Prashant Patil, that there was no evidence to date with the prosecution that would connect the Hotshots mobile application, used in the alleged porn films racket, with an offence under law. The probe agency has said that theHotshots app was being used by theaccused for uploading and streaming obscene content.
He claimed there was no evidence of him being "actively" involved in thecreation of alleged questionable porn content. Kundra alleged he was falsely implicated, was not even named in the FIR and was dragged by the respondent (police) in the case. Kundra also claimed that he is being made a "scapegoat" for reasons best known to investigators. He also said that the contents of the complaint in the case do not disclose any prima facie offence against him.
The police, in their nearly 1,500-page supplementary charge sheet filed in the court on September 15, claimed Kundra was the "main facilitator" in the pornography case and he along with other accused exploited young women struggling in the film industry. Yash Thakur, a Singapore resident, and London-based Pardeep Bakshi have also been shown as wanted accused in the charge sheet.
The public prosecutor opposed Kundra's application and said that just because the charge sheet has been filed, it does not imply bail has to be granted. After hearing both sides, chief metropolitan magistrate Bhajipale granted Kundra bail.
(With agency inputs)