‘Is He A Terrorist’: Asks Lawyer After Esplanade Court Rejects Raj Kundra’s Bail Plea
Raj Kundra’s lawyer defended the bail plea and said many of the accused are already out on bail and that Raj Kundra has been co-operating in the investigation process.
Businessman Raj Kundra, actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband, and his aide Ryan Thorpe were denied bail by a Mumbai court today in a case related to the alleged production and distribution of pornographic content. The 45-year-old businessman’s bail application was rejected even as his lawyer questioned the basis on which the police was arguing, and asked: “Is the accused a terrorist?”
To this, the government lawyer quipped, “Digital evidence in the case has been destroyed”.
Mr Kundra is in judicial custody for two weeks at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail amid an intensifying probe. He was arrested last Monday. His close aide Ryan Thorpe, who looked after his company’s tech matters, was arrested the next day.
Four of his employees have turned witnesses against him, sources have said.
Mr Kundra has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, challenging his arrest in the case and calling for an “immediate release”. The petition claims that his arrest is “illegal”. On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court had adjourned the hearing; the matter will be heard again tomorrow.
Raj Kundra’s controversial app “Hotshots” is at the centre of the investigation. The app, according to police, was removed from the Google Play Store for Android phones and Apple’s App Store, so the accused “activated Plan B” and launched another app, Bollyfame.
Last week, Mr Kundra challenged his arrest in the case, saying the videos being probed might be described as “lascivious” but do not show “explicit sexual acts”.
Shilpa Shetty told police last week that she was unaware of the exact nature of content on ‘Hotshots’. Police sources told ANI that Ms Shetty stressed the difference between ‘erotica’ and ‘pornography’, and said Mr Kundra was not involved in producing pornographic content.
Raj Kundra’s lawyer, Abad Ponda, had also objected in the court to the content being classified as pornography, arguing that similar material is available on OTT platforms like Netflix.