Raj Kundra, husband of actor Shilpa Shetty, was granted interim protection from arrest until August 25 by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday in a case registered by the Mumbai Police in 2020, Bar and Bench reported.
The October 2020 FIR was registered by the Cyber Cell in connection with the broadcasting of nude erotic content on an OTT platform.
Kundra is currently in jail in connection with a similar case filed by the Mumbai police in 2021.
The FIR was lodged under Sections 292, 293 (sale of obscene material) under the Indian Penal Code, Sections 66E, 67, 67A (transmission of sexually explicit material) under the IT Act and provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
The allegations in the chargesheet filed in the 2021 case and the one from the 2020 FIR are identical, Kundra said, causing him to apprehend an arrest in the latter case as well.
Submitting that he was falsely implicated in the case, Kundra applied for pre-arrest bail in the 2020 case on the grounds that the co-accused were already out on bail. He also argued that the application should be allowed as the offences charged against him were all punishable with less than seven years of imprisonment.
Kundra further said there was no evidence to connect his Hotshot app with the alleged offences as none of the actors accused in the case had raised any grievance.
Opposing Kundra’s bail plea, the Public Prosecutor submitted that Kundra’s role in the case was different from that of the co-accused and sought time to take more instructions on the merits of the application.
Granting this time, the court also granted Kundra interim protection from arrest until the next hearing on August 25.
Meanwhile, Kundra has been in custody since his arrest on July 19 in a case involving pornography that the Mumbai Police began investigating in February 2021. He has been accused of making pornographic videos under the pretext of producing short films for OTT platforms.
On August 7, the Bombay High Court had also rejected Kundra’s plea challenging his arrest and the subsequent orders in the case.
So far, 11 people, including Kundra, have been arrested in connection to the case.