Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant urgent relief to businessman and actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband, Raj Kundra, in a case of alleged production and distribution of pornographic videos through apps. Mumbai police had arrested Kundra (45) on July 19 which he has challenged in HC terming it as “illegal”.
Justice Ajey Gadkari said that he could not grant any relief without hearing the prosecution and asked the police to file its reply to Kundra’s petition by July 29.
Kundra’s counsel Aabad Ponda and advocate Subhash Jadhav argued that the police had failed to follow the procedure and ought to have first issued a notice under section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) instead of arresting him directly. As per section 41A of the CrPC, the police may issue summons to the accused person and record his/her statement in cases where arrest is not warranted.
Public prosecutor Aruna Pai refuted the statement and said that the police had issued notice to Kundra.
Ponda countered saying that they were not given the notice in advance, it was given later just as a formality.
The HC then asked Pai to file a counter affidavit to the petition.
When Ponda sought that some interim relief may be granted, Justice Gadkari refused saying: “No ex-parte ad-interim relief.”
Kundra’s petition also states that if the material produced by the police is viewed then it will be clear that the same does not “depict direct explicit sexual acts and sexual intercourse but shows material in the form of short movies which are lascivious or appeal to the prurient interest of persons at best”.
The maximum sentence according to the sections under which Kundra has been booked is seven years of imprisonment. Hence, under these circumstances, it is completely illegal to arrest the said person/accused without complying with the requirements of section 41A of the CrPC”, adds his petition.
Besides, the petition claims that when the FIR was lodged, in February this year, he was not even named as an accused and that a chargesheet has been already filed in the case in April this year. The other accused arrested in the case are already out on bail, states the petition.
With regard to the notice under section 41A, his petition reads: “On July 19, 2021, the respondents (police) carried out a search in the office premises of the petitioner (Kundra) and requested him to accompany them to record his statement. The respondent arrested the petitioner in the police station where he was called under the garb of recording his statement."
Kundra has further alleged that after his arrest, the police asked him to sign a notice issued under section 41A of CrPC, which he refused to.
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