The Bombay High Court reserved its judgment on Monday against the plea filed by actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband and businessman Raj Kundra challenging his arrest and the subsequent orders in the ongoing pornography case, Bar and Bench reported.
Kundra was arrested by the Mumbai Police on July 19 in a case involving pornography. He has been accused of making pornographic videos under the pretext of producing short films for OTT platforms. According to the Crime Branch, the pornographic content thus filmed was sent to a UK production company Kenrin, which is registered there by Kundra’s brother-in-law, Pradeep Bakshi, and then uploaded on various apps using foreign IP addresses to evade Indian law.
Challenging his arrest, Kundra’s plea said that the police summons to him under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were given despite admittedly having no intention to arrest him.
On Monday, the Chief Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai, who appeared for the Mumbai Police, opposed the plea and said that Kundra had been arrested because he had refused to accept the notice under Section 41A.
She also claimed that Kundra had tried to destroy or had successfully already destroyed some evidence that the Crime Branch was trying to recover and this led to his arrest.
“The attitude of Kundra speaks volumes of his co-operation in the investigation. We do not know if it is all deleted. Investigation is ongoing. Police is trying to retrieve [the data],” Pai told the court.
Kundra’s representative argued that there was nothing on record to show that the evidence had been deleted. He also submitted in the court that the reason claimed for adding the charge of causing evidence to disappear was an afterthought to counter the petition being argued.
He also stated that the contentions of the Mumbai Police for seeking Kundra’s custody and its extension were inconsistent and kept changing with each remand.
Meanwhile, Shetty issued a statement in the case for the first time.
“The past few days have been challenging, on every front. There have been a lot of rumours and accusations. A lot of unwarranted aspersions on me cast by the media and (not so) well wishers as well. A lot of trolling/questions posed… not only to me but also to my family,” she wrote, adding that she has not commented yet and will continue to refrain from doing so on this case as it is sub judice.
“So please stop attributing false quotes on my behalf. Reiterating my philosophy of, as a celebrity, ‘Never complain, never explain’. All I will say is, as it’s an on-going investigation, I have full faith in the Mumbai Police and the Indian judiciary,” she said.
Requesting the media to respect their privacy for her children’s sake, she further wrote: “As a family, we are taking recourse to all our available legal remedies. I request you to respect my family’s and my right to privacy in these times. We don’t deserve a media trial. Please let the law take its course.”
Shetty has filed a defamation lawsuit against several news channels, publications, and social media platforms and sought to restrain them from publishing or circulating “incorrect, false, malicious, and defamatory” information against her in connection with the case. Hearing the case on Friday, the Bombay High Court refrained from passing any orders and only noted that her petition requires further scrutiny.