A Mumbai court, on Monday, granted bail to Raj Kundra, businessman and actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband, in the pornography case, on a surety of Rs 50,000. Co-accused Ryan Thorpe was also granted bail, ANI reported.
Kundra was arrested by the Mumbai Police on July 19 as the “key conspirator” in a case involving pornography, the investigation for which had begun in February 2021. He has been accused of making pornographic videos under the pretext of producing short films for OTT platforms. Thorpe was arrested on July 20.
The accused have been 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.
A magistrate court in Mumbai had rejected Kundra’s bail plea for the third time on August 10 after denying him bail twice earlier on July 23 and July 27.
When opposing his bail, the Mumbai Police had listed out 19 reasons to extend his custody, including the possibility that he could tamper with the evidence, influence witnesses, and even flee the country as he is a British citizen.
Recently, a supplementary 1, 467- page chargesheet was filed against Kundra by the Mumbai Crime Branch.
Seeking bail based on the ground that the investigation was complete, Kundra moved the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Esplanade, Mumbai, according to a Bar and Bench report.
Submitting that while the primary chargesheet did not contain any allegations against Kundra, Kundra’s counsel argued that the detailed supplementary chargesheet that has been filed by the Mumbai Police against Kundra and three other accused also did not contain allegations that the victims had a direct interaction or were approached by Kundra directly for the filming of the obscene videos.
Kundra’s counsel argued that the offence of cheating ‘does not seem to be made out’. As per the report, he stated that “once cheating is kept aside, all the other offences are punishable with a maximum of 5 years of imprisonment”.
Opposing Kundra’s bail application, the public prosecutor argued that Kundra cannot be granted bail merely on the basis of filing a chargesheet.
So far, 11 people, including Kundra, had been arrested in connection to the case.