From arrest in pornography case to his bail: Here’s the timeline of Raj Kundra’s controversy

Updated on Sep 29, 2021 12:17 PM IST  |  71.8K
   
From arrest in pornography case to his bail: Here’s the timeline of Raj Kundra’s controversy
From arrest in pornography case to his bail: Here’s the timeline of Raj Kundra’s controversy

Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s world turned upside down when Raj Kundra’s name had cropped up in connection with an adult film racket case. The case had come to light in February following which an FIR was registered. And after an investigation of around five months, the cops had arrested Raj Kundra and 11 people for allegedly publishing and production of pornographic films which was reportedly distributed over subscription-based mobile apps like Hotshots, etc. Several allegations were also reportedly levelled against Kundra during the investigation including threatening newcomers.

However, the case took a new turn after Raj Kundra got bail early this month. According to media reports, in his bail application, Raj had claimed of being a scapegoat and that there hasn’t been any evidence against him being involved in the production and distribution of pornographic content. While Raj has been released on bail, here’s a timeline of the controversy from his arrest to bail.

Arrest

Raj Kundra was arrested on July 19 in Mumbai, following which he was sent to judicial custody till July 23. It was reported that the aspiring actresses from across the country were called on the pretext of giving work in web series and then they would be threatened to expose themselves. To note, Raj’s association with the racket, reportedly, came to light after his former employee Umesh Kamat was arrested by the property cell. And as per Mumbai Police, Raj Kundra was the ‘key conspirator’ in the case.

No involvement of Shilpa Shetty found

Milind Bharambe, the Joint Commissioner of Police had issued statement days after Kundra’s arrest in a series of tweets. He also mentioned that they hadn’t found anything against Shilpa by the time. “Crime Branch Mumbai registered offence in Feb on the publishing of porn films. It was found that small artists were lured on the pretext of breaks in web series. They were asked for bold scenes that turned into semi-nude & nude scenes against their wishes. We have arrested producers like Umesh Kamat, who's looking after the India operations of Raj Kundra. Content creation &operations of 'Hotshots' app was carried out through Viaan company. During the raid, we found evidence on the basis of which we arrested Kundra. We have not been able to any find any active role (of Shilpa Shetty) yet. We are investigating. We'll appeal to the victims to come forward and contact the Crime Branch Mumbai. We'll take appropriate action,” he told ANI.

Gehana Vashisht supports Raj Kundra

Gehana, who was also among the nine people arrested by the property cell in the pornographic cell, had come out in Raj Kundra’s support post his arrest. She said, “I have a small request for everyone to not compare bold and erotica cinema with porn. Raj Kundra and I have been arrested for the same case, we have the same investigation going on. I know what was being made under Kundra’s company. I have worked as a heroine in 3 films produced for Raj Kundra’s app. He never forced me to do anything, I was paid according to the work I did and deserved. I had no issues with the work or the payment I received.”

Sagarika Shona Suman’s allegation

Later, Sagarika levelled some serious allegations again Raj and claimed that she was offered a role in a web series produced by him.  “I am a model and I am working in the industry for 3-4 years. I have not done a lot of work. During the lockdown, certain things happened that I want to share. In August 2020, I got a call from Umesh Kamat ji who offered me a web series owned and produced by Raj Kundra. I asked him about Raj Kundra and he told me he is Shilpa Shetty's husband. When I joined the video call, he demanded that I give a nude audition. I was shocked and I refused. The video call had three people- one of whom had their face covered and one of them was Raj Kundra I think. I want that if he is involved in such things, he is arrested and such a racket is exposed,” she was quoted saying.

Raj Kundra’s lawyer’s statement

Kundra’s lawyer Abad Ponda had objected to classifying content as ‘pornography’ and stated that it was incorrect to apply Section 67A of the Information Technology Act on sending obscene material in electronic form with sections in the Indian Penal Code that deal with pornography since the laws consider "actual intercourse" as "porn" and anything else is just “vulgar content”. Meanwhile, Raj Kundra’s custody was extended. 

Raid at Shilpa and Raj’s house

It was reported that the crime branch had conducted a raid at Raj and Shilpa’s Juhu apartment. During the raid, Raj Kundra was reportedly taken to his apartment by the crime branch. On the other hand, Shilpa’s resignation from the director’s position at Viaan industries also brought her under the scanner. Her statement was also recorded by the crime branch.

Sherlyn Chopra’s statement and Poonam Pandey’s claims

Sherlyn released a statement in the media post Kundra’s arrest and stated that she is the first person to give a neutral statement to the Maharashtra Cyber Cell earlier this year. Reportedly, she had also added that she was the one who had informed the cyber cell about Armsprime, the company linked to Raj Kundra in the alleged porn case. On the other hand, Poonam Pandey claimed to be exploited by Raj Kundra to such an extent that her private contact information was leaked online.

Shilpa Shetty’s statement

While Shilpa’s statement was also recorded in the matter, she denied any involvement in the production of pornographic videos. As per the Mid-Day report, a police official said, "She (Shilpa Shetty) said that the movies available on Hotshot are not pornography but erotica. She also said that nowadays, similar content is available on the various OTT platforms and in fact, some are more obscene than what is available on Hotshot.” Later, Raj and Shilpa’s joint bank accounts were also under probe by the Mumbai crime branch. The media reports also suggested that Raj had thrown away his old phone fearing data recovery as he was anticipating arrest.

Interim relief denied to Raj Kundra

While Raj Kundra’s lawyer had applied for bail, he was denied interim relief by the HC on July 27 in the pornographic case, Sagarika Shona Suman claimed that many big people are involved in the racket as he can’t run the racket alone. Sagarika also claimed that in December 2020, Hotshots App had offered her Rs 1 lakh for a 30-minute nude live show.

Sherlyn Chopra accuses Raj Kundra of sexual assault

Making another shocking statement, Sherlyn Chopra had accused Raj Kundra of sexually assaulting her in March 2019. She claimed that while Kundra had contacted her for a work proposal, he ended up showing at her house unannounced after a heated argument over text. Sherlyn, reportedly, alleged that Kundra "started kissing her even though she resisted".

Shilpa Shetty moves to HC against defamatory content published in media

While a lot was being said and written about Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, the actress had moved Bombay High Court asking for an injunction against defamatory content on social media and websites. She had not just demanded deletion of all defamatory content, she also asked for an apology along with compensation. While her case was heard, the court stated that the news reports by media houses based on police sources cannot be called defamatory.

Raj Kundra’s bail rejected

Raj Kundra had applied for bail again in August which was rejected once again. A detailed order was released regarding the same, the court said, “One of the considerations for refusing or granting bail is the nature of offence and gravity of the offence. The effect of the alleged offence is having nexus with the public at large. The alleged offence is also detrimental to the health of our society”.

Raj Kundra gets interim relief from Bombay Court

Raj Kundra had approached HC in August for anticipatory bail in the case. The HC had granted interim relief to him on August 18 in the case.

Crime Branch files charge sheet against Raj Kundra

It was reported that the Mumbai crime branch had submitted a 1500 page supplementary charge sheet against Kundra in the pornography case before Esplanade court on September 15. The charge sheet also included the name of Raj Kundra’s associate Ryan Thorpe.

Shilpa Shetty claims not to be aware of what Raj was up to

Shilpa Shetty, who was constantly on the radar, spoke about the case and said that she was not aware of what Raj Kundra was up to. ““Kundra started Viaan Industries Limited in 2015 and I was one of the directors till 2020 when I resigned due to personal reasons. I am not aware of the Hotshots or Bollyfame apps. I was too busy with my own work and hence, not aware about what Kundra was up to”, she was quoted saying.

Raj Kundra claims to be a scapegoat in the case

Raj Kundra moved his bail application to the Metropolitan Court and claimed that he was being made a scapegoat and that there isn’t single evidence in the supplementary charge sheet of him being actively involved in the creation of alleged questionable content. He had also approached the court and claimed that the investigation, in this case, was practically over.

Raj Kundra gets bail

After being in custody for almost two months, Raj Kundra was granted bail on a surety of Rs 50,000 on September 20 this year. In fact, Ryan Thorpe was also granted bail along with Raj Kundra. 

Also Read: Raj Kundra gets bail in adult films case from Mumbai Court


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