A plea by businessman Raj Kundra seeking his immediate release from judicial custody in a porn film case was today refused by the Bombay High Court. Arrested last month, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband had challenged a remand order issued against him by a magistrate’s court saying he had not been notified or issued summons before arrest as was required under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The High Court’s order today said there was nothing wrong with the magistrate court’s order when it remanded Mr Kundra to police custody on July 20. Rejecting his plea, Justice AS Gadkari said his remand and subsequent judicial custody were within the conformity of law and did not require interference.
Earlier, the police had said that a notice was issued prior to his arrest but Mr Kundra had refused to accept it. The police argued that the refusal “implies the petitioner refused to co-operate”.
The businessman, along with an associate and employee Ryan Thorpe, was arrested on July 19 for involvement in the production of pornography. He, however, has argued that the content in question was not pornography and that similar material was available on OTT platforms.
The courts have till now denied him bail despite applying several times since his arrest. Mr Kundra and Mr Thorpe are in judicial custody now.
The police have claimed that the duo deleted messages from a WhatsApp group while a police search was on in connection with the case. This amounted to destroying evidence, they have said.
They also said that they had found a WhatsApp group on Mr Kundra’s mobile phone that contained chats with other accused and a PowerPoint presentation with marketing strategies and projections for Hotshots, the mobile app via which the businessman is accused of distributing the videos.