'No direct sexual act shown': Raj Kundra moves high court, says arrest over porn film allegation illegal

Raj Kundra has moved the high court through Parinam Law Associates and raised three issues: his arrest was not legal, IPC section against him was an error on part of Mumbai Police and there is no explicit sexual act in the videos for which they can be classified as pornography.
Raj Kundra (Centre) being taken to the Esplanade Court on Friday where his police custody was extended until July 27. (PTI)
Raj Kundra (Centre) being taken to the Esplanade Court on Friday where his police custody was extended until July 27. (PTI)
Published on Jul 23, 2021 04:20 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty's husband, businessman Raj Kundra, arrested on the charges of making pornographic films in Mumbai, on Friday moved the high court after the magistrate court extended his police custody till July 27. News agency ANI reported that Kundra's lawyer approached the high court saying that his arrest in the first place was not legal.

According to reports, Kundra's lawyer has said that in the 4,000-page chargesheet that the Mumbai Police has filed against Kundra and others involved in the alleged porn racket, there is no specific mention of pornography, an allegation that Kundra's another lawyer Abad Ponda earlier raised. Ponda had earlier said that the arrest did not follow the due procedure as he was not issued a proper notice of appearance under Section 41A o the CrPC. Ponda also contested that the videos that Raj Kundra apparently made for Hotshots, the video-streaming app, owned by a UK firm, were vulgar but not pornographic, as they did not explicitly show the sexual act.

In the plea moved in the high court after the local court extended Kundra's police custody, Kundra's lawyer said his arrest by the Mumbai Police is illegal as he was arrested on the pretext of recording a statement. He was not issued a proper notice of appearance under Section 41A of the CrPC, the petition challenging the magistrate court order said.

"Notice in the matter where FIR is registered on 05.02.2021, the Charge sheet is filed on 03.04.2021 and they could have easily served notice and could have allowed the Petitioner to appear and give his statement and if the Petitioner failed to do so the consequences would had followed. However, if the Petitioner did appear then under Section 41A (3), he should not be arrested at all, is the mandate of law," the plea said, as reported by Livelaw.

The plea also said that the content in question "does not depict direct explicit sexual acts and sexual intercourse but shows only material in the form of short movies which are lascivious or appeal to the prurient interest of the persons at best."

The plea also found some holes in the provisions that have been invoked against Raj Kundra. Kundra has been booked under sections sections 354(C) (Voyeurism), 292 (sale of obscene content), 420(cheating) of the IPC and Sections 67, 67A (transmission of sexually explicit material)of the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act. The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate did not consider that the police have wrongly invoked IPC provisions where Information Technology Act applies, the plea said.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021