The Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch reached Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty’s Juhu residence on Friday, raising speculation that fresh raids are likely to be conducted.
Sources told CNN-News18 that the police team may conduct searches at the residence in connection with Kundra’s alleged involvement in financing pornography. The businessman may also be taken to his residence, reports claimed.
The Crime Branch reached Kundra’s residence hours a Mumbai court extended the latter’s police custody till 27 July. Kundra’s lawyer, meanwhile, approached the Bombay High Court against his arrest, which has been termed as ‘illegal’.
Reports have claimed that Shilpa Shetty was not to be served a summon in the Raj Kundra case as she is one of the directors of Viaan Industries while the police investigation is probing into Kenrin, which is a UK-based company and owner of the HotShots app, where the alleged pornographic content was published.
However, another company owned by Raj Kundra — JL Stream — has also come under the scanner. The company was heavily promoted on web portals by Shilpa Shetty. This website also hosts adult content and is still active in India.
Kundra was arrested on the night of 19 July after being booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act. Police sought extension of his custody to probe the matter further. The police had claimed they have seized Kundra’s mobile phone and its contents need to be scrutinised and also his business dealings and transactions have to be looked into.
Apart from Kundra, the police also produced another accused, Ryan Thorpe, before the court, which extended his custody till 27 July.
Kundra had previously claimed that he sold off his business to his brother-in-law in UK, property cell officers found that Kundra had lied, according to News18. Through investigation, it has come to light that Kundra was actively involved in day-to-day decisions in the operation of the HotShots app.
Police sources say WhatsApp groups created for the functioning of the porn racket hint at Kundra’s involvement. In one of the groups, where he is an admin, participants monitored erotic videos, or soft porn, of other web portals and apps to ensure that they aren’t stolen from Kundra’s company. Another WhatsApp group was used to discuss actors, storylines, edits, locations, crew members, and final rollout
Kundra's lawyer has objected to classifying content as pornography during the businessman's anticipatory bail hearing on Tuesday. He said it is 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 these laws consider "actual intercourse" as porn, and anything else is vulgar content.
With inputs from agencies