Ever since Raj Kundra was arrested in Mumbai in connection with porn production, his fortunes have turned from bad to worse, in fact a lot worse than he would have liked.
Initially, the Mumbai police had claimed he was the key conspirator in porn production but could not find sufficient evidence after thorough search of his Juhu (Mumbai) offices.
As reported earlier by Bharat Times, Raj Kundra is among 11 others accused of porn films production. After the initial FIR was filed in February 2021 and allegations against Raj Kundra started floating around, Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch began investigating the case which has led to Raj’s arrest.
Raj has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention), 292 and 293 (related to obscene and indecent advertisements and displays), and Section 67 of the IT Act and relevant sections of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Sections 292 and 293 of the IPC, Section 67 of the Indian IT Act and certain Sections of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act were used to frame the charges against Raj Kundra.
The Indian law against porn:
Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code: According to this section, something shall be deemed obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest. Under the provisions of this Section which bar selling, renting, distributing any such content, the section says whoever “takes part in or receives profits from any business in the course of which he knows or has reason to believe that any such obscene objects are for any of the purposes aforesaid, made, produced, purchased, kept, imported, exported, conveyed, publicly exhibited or in any manner put into circulation shall be punished.
Section 293 of the Indian Penal Code: This section deals with the age of the customers/audience as it says “Whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object as is referred to in the last preceding section, or offers or attempts so to do, shall be punished”.
Sections 292 & 293 provide for imprisonment which may extend to 2 and 3 years respectively for the first instance of the offence and increases dramatically for the subsequent instances of the crime.
Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2020 makes pornography, a punishable crime.
Section 67 says whoever “publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished”.
Under the IT law, the imprisonment in the first instance may extend up to three years and later increase to five years for each subsequent instance.
The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 says no person shall publish, or cause to be published, or arrange or take part in the publication or exhibition of, any advertisement which contains indecent representation of women in any form.
There are detailed provisions in Indian laws banning child pornography.
On top of it there are punishment provisions under the The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986.
When police searches failed to unearth the hardcore evidence against Raj Kundra in their initial searches, Raj Kundra team quickly moved an application for bail in the local magistrate’s court. It was rejected on Friday 23rd July and he was remanded to police custody for 7 days until July 27. His team has now appealed to the Mumbai High Court challenging his arrest claiming that to be illegal. In the petition to the Mumbai High Court, Raj has claimed that his name is not mentioned in the original FIR and relief should be granted to him as he is “deeply aggrieved by the illegal arrest” which is in “complete violation of the mandate of Section 41A of the CrPC.”
Raj’s lawyers claim the content is not “porn”, it is “bold” and “erotica” and thus “the Learned Magistrate failed to consider that that the police have wrongly invoked IPC Sections in the matter relating to the case of alleged use of the electronic means where Information Technology Act applies.”
The investigating team also interrogated Shilpa Shetty and for hours, both Shilpa and Raj were put face to face – where they reportedly “argued” and allegedly Shilpa feigned no knowledge of what Raj was doing.
It is alleged in a WhatsApp chat that Raj Kundra was trying to sell 121 porn movies for US$ 1.2 million.
Due to lack of that hard evidence against Raj Kundra, the police were while scavenging the dirt of his empire – came across four employees – who now have agreed to become witnesses against him. On a tip (from (one of) them), the police went back to Raj Kundra’s Juhu offices and found a “mystery wall” and a “hidden safe” concealed behind that wall.
Arnad Goswami who is no stranger to how police deal with people in their custody ran a full debate on the issue:
That safe has delivered Mumbai police a large trove of treasure evidence – allegedly including hardcore porn movies including that of actress Gahana Vasisth who had come out to support Raj Kundra claiming he does only “bold” and “erotic” and not “porn” content.
Earlier out on bail, that starlet now has gone into hiding.
In addition to real evidence of porn, the police allegedly also collected hard evidence relating to betting, crypto currency and a lot more, including links to some shelf companies based in South Africa.
The media reports say Shilpa Shetty has distanced herself from her husband’s activities.
Putting up a brave face, Raj Kundra tweeted it as a temporary roadblock.
— Raj Kundra (@TheRajKundra) July 19, 2021
It is noteworthy that last year Shilpa resigned from the directorship of the company (Viaan) – the owner of now “dirty” app “Hotshots” run and used by Raj Kundra to show his content.
Shilpa has also endeavored to deflect the noose of Mumbai police in the direction of Raj Kundra’s brother-in-law (Jija Ji) in London. As porn production is not illegal there, she attempted to suggest it was him who police should be interrogating not Raj.
The India media is claiming that Raj Kundra is now on his own and a friendless person whose goose is now “cooked”, particularly when more and more girls are coming out to point fingers at Raj and his business ethics.
More to come!