Raj Kundra forced helpless girls for nude shoot after luring them with the promise of film roles: Police

News Network
July 20, 2021

Mumbai, July 20: Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty's husband and businessman Raj Kundra ran a well-oiled machine, forcing helpless girls to shoot for nude and semi-nude pictures after luring them with opportunities to act in short films and web series, police said on Tuesday.

Kundra, along with his tech-man Ryan Tharp, has been arrested and remanded to police custody till July 23 taking the total number of arrests in the case to nine. 

The case involves international ramifications, joint commissioner of police (crime) Milind Bharambe said. 

On Monday, Kundra was summoned for questioning, following which he was placed under arrest. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said, “We have arrested Raj Kundra in this case on 19/7/21 as he appears to be the key conspirator of this. We have sufficient pieces of evidence regarding this. The investigation is in progress.”

Nagrale said the arrest was in connection with the case registered with Crime Branch Mumbai in Feb 2021 about making pornographic films and publishing them through some mobile apps.

In the racket busted by the crime branch earlier this year, the police said that women were lured into acting in pornographic movies, with promises of roles in web series.

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News Network
July 24,2021

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Mumbai: Actor Shilpa Shetty has said she was unaware of the exact nature of content on 'Hotshots' - the mobile app via which her husband, Raj Kundra, is accused of streaming pornographic content - Mumbai Police sources have told the media.

Police sources said that Ms Shetty said it was another accused - London-based Pradeep Bakshi, Mr Kundra's brother-in-law - who was involved with the app. She also stressed the difference between 'erotica' and 'pornography', and said Mr Kundra was not involved in producing pornographic content.

Police recorded Ms Shetty's statement yesterday evening as they questioned her. They were checking if she knew about her husband's alleged link to the pornographic films, sources said.

Also yesterday Mr Kundra, who was arrested this week, was sent to police custody till July 27. Police said they had seized 48 TB worth of images and videos, most of which is adult content.

Police also said they had a record of transactions - from an account in Yes Bank registered to Mr Kundra to one in the United Bank of Africa. They suspect money from sale of pornographic content was used for online betting.

Rs 7.5 crore has been seized so far.

During yesterday's hearing his lawyer, Abad Ponda, had objected to classifying the seized content as 'pornography'. Mr Ponda said the content could not come under Section 67 of the IT Act - for which bail is not allowed - as similar material is available on OTT platforms like Netflix.

It can be covered only under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code - which deals with "lascivious" material, he said, adding "no further custody is needed".

Mr Kundra has denied any wrongdoing, and has also named Pradeep Bakshi as the key figure.

However, police have said Mr Kundra was kept updated on the finances of the app, and allegedly also set up a WhatsApp group to discuss the production, distribution and selling of content.

Mr Kundra has approached the Bombay High Court to challenge his arrest and dismiss the lower court's order on extending police custody on that distinction. His petition also claims he was arrested after being summoned to the police station "under the garb of recording his statement".

The police say Raj Kundra, 45, is a "key conspirator" in the case, and that they had sufficient evidence against him; this includes pornographic clips and emails found in his office.

The case was registered February 4 after a woman told the police she had been forced to take part in a porn film after being promised an acting job, a police officer quoted by PTI said.

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News Network
July 26,2021

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Bengaluru, July 26: Veteran Kannada actor Jayanthi passed away due to ill health at her residence on Monday. She was 76.

Called 'Abhinaya Sharadhe', Jayanthi was a prominent name in the Kannada film industry from 1960 to late 80s. Having acted over 500 films, Jayanthi has won six State awards (four Best Actress and two Best Supporting Actress). 

Born in Ballari, Jayanthi was a classical dancer who went on to become an acting stalwart by performing in versatile roles. She deservingly won the Dr Rajkumar Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005-06. 

Jayanthi also tasted success in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam cinema. In Kannada, she has worked with thespian Dr Rajkumar and iconic filmmakers like Puttanna Kanagal and Dorai-Bhagwan in several cult-classic films. 

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