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Updated on: Monday, August 02, 2021, 05:29 PM IST

FPJ Legal: Bombay HC reserves order on Raj Kundra's plea against arrest in porn films case

Kundra and Thorpe have contended that their arrests are illegal as the police failed to follow proper procedure under section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
FPJ Legal: Bombay HC reserves order on Raj Kundra's plea against arrest in porn films case | ANI

FPJ Legal: Bombay HC reserves order on Raj Kundra's plea against arrest in porn films case | ANI

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday reserved its order in petition by businessman and actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra, challenging his “illegal” arrest in the case related to alleged creation and streaming of pornographic content on apps.

Justice AS Gadkari has also reserved order in petition of Kundra’s IT head Ryan Thorpe challenging his arrest.

Kundra and Thorpe have contended that their arrests are illegal as the police failed to follow proper procedure under section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). They have sought that they be released immediately and also the orders passed by a magistrate after their arrest remanding them in police custody be quashed.

As per section 41A, the police may, in cases where arrest is not warranted, issue summons to the accused person and record his or her statement.

Kundra was arrested on July 19 after a search was conducted at his office. Thorpe was arrested the following day, on July 20. They are now in judicial custody.

Public prosecutor Aruna Pai once again emphasised that they were arrested after they started deleting evidence from their phone while the search was going on at Kundra’s office. She further argued that notice under section 41A was issued to both, Kundra and Thorpe. She said, “Kundra refused to accept it whereas Thorpe accepted it.”

Pointing out Kundra’s conduct, Pai argued that he refused to co-operate with the investigation. “We don’t know if it is all deleted. Investigation is ongoing. Police is trying to retrieve it,” said Pai.

She argued that it was because of this, section 201 of IPC (destruction of evidence) was subsequently invoked against the accused persons. “If accused persons are destroying evidence then can the investigating agency be a mute spectator?” asked Pai.

She added: “Kundra is the admin of the app HotShots. During searches, the police seized a laptop from the office of Kundra in which 68 porn videos were recovered. This is in addition to the earlier 51 videos recovered from the Storage Area Network.”

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Besides, the police recovered scripts with sexual content and a presentation on the financial projection and marketing strategy of HotShots and another similar app BollyFame from Kundra’s laptop.

Aabad Ponda, Kundra’s counsel, refuted the allegations saying that all his devices including his phone and laptops were seized by the police during the search. If they were already seized, then there is no question of Kundra deleting the evidence as claimed by the police.

Abhinav Chandrachud, counsel for Thorpe, argued that while 41A notice was issued to Thorpe, he was not given time to comply or respond to it. “Before Thorpe could act on the notice, he was arrested,” he said.

Chandrachud also pointed out discrepancies in the remand report and the affidavit filed by the police which cast aspersions on the prosecution case.

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Published on: Monday, August 02, 2021, 05:29 PM IST
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