Photo Source: Raj Kundra Instagram

Tanvir Hashmi, one of the accused in businessman and actor Shilpa Shetty‘s husband Raj Kundra‘s pornography case, and the person who edited the videos in question, has said that the videos are ‘not porn’ and that he has never met Kundra in person, CNN News18 reported.

Hashmi, who was arrested and subsequently let out on bail, was questioned by the police for five hours on Sunday. He later told the media that he stands firm that the videos are not porn and had said the same to the investigating officers.

On July 19, Kundra, the owner of Viaan Industries Ltd, was arrested by the Mumbai Police as the “key conspirator” in a case involving pornography. He has been accused of being involved in making pornographic videos under the pretext of producing short films for OTT platforms.

According to the Crime Branch, the accused sent the pornographic content thus filmed to a UK production company Kenrin, which is registered there by Kundra’s brother-in-law, through WeTransfer and the same was uploaded on various apps using foreign IP addresses to evade Indian law.

The investigation of the alleged porn racket began in February, but Kundra was arrested only after the Property Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch procured ‘strong evidence’ after raiding his office in the form of agreement papers, emails, accounts, WhatsApp chats and pornographic clips.

On Friday, Kundra’s bail plea was rejected and he was remanded to police custody till July 27.

Besides Kundra, 10 others have been arrested for their involvement in the case.

The accused were booked under 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 Crime Branch had said on Tuesday that no evidence had been found indicating Shetty had an active role in the case.

Photo Credit – Shilpa Shetty Instagram, Cropped, Resized

The claim that the videos are not porn, but erotica has been the primary response from Kundra and his associates.

On Saturday, Shetty told Mumbai Police that Kundra is innocent and not involved in producing porn content. Erotica is different from pornography, she reportedly added. Shetty also alleged that Kundra’s brother-in-law from a previous marriage, London-based Pradeep Bakshi, was the one involved with the Hotshot app and its functioning.

Actor and producer Gehana Vasisth, who had also been arrested previously in the same case, and was among those summoned for questioning on Sunday by the Mumbai Crime Branch, had earlier denied making pornographic films and claimed that they were ‘erotica’.

According to an ANI report, while conducting a search on Sunday in Kundra’s Viaan and JL Stream office in Andheri, the Crime Branch found a hidden cupboard. Four employees from Kundra’s company have also reportedly turned witnesses in the case.

The report adds that the Enforcement Directorate is likely to register cases against Kundra for money laundering and under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Meanwhile, actor Flora Saini, whose name was brought up in the case by Zee News, when the channel shared a WhatsApp chat between Kundra and his associate Umesh Kamat, posted a video on Instagram clarifying that she is not related to or involved in the case. She further said there has been no contact between her and Kundra in any form. Urging the media not to drag her name in “unnecessary controversies,” she demanded that the broadcaster remove the part of the video clip that mentions her name from all platforms.