Shilpa Shetty explains cops the difference between ‘erotica’ is not porn’, says her hubby is innocent!

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
September 15,2021

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Mumbai, Sept 15: Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has alleged that the government is encouraging Indian filmmakers to make propaganda films “lauding the efforts of our beloved leader”.

“They are being encouraged by the government to make pro-government films, to make films lauding the efforts of our beloved leader. They are also being financed, also promised a clean chit if they make movies which are propaganda, to put it bluntly,” Shah said in an interview.

He likened the situation to when top-class filmmakers were rounded up in Nazi Germany to make films propagating Nazi philosophy. “You will find the biggest guys giving in to this,” the actor said.

This comes days after a video of Shah went viral wherein he was condemning Indian Muslims who were celebrating the Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

The 71-year-old actor told the publication that he had no proof but it was obvious, adding that while there is no outright bigotry in the industry, actors are harassed if they speak out.

“They (the Khans) are worried because of the harassment they face. They have so much to lose. It is a question of their entire establishments getting harassed,” he said.

Noting that he never felt any discrimination in the industry, Shah said the only thing that matters in the industry is the revenue you generate.

Commenting on his remarks on the Taliban, he said that ‘celebration’ may not have been the right word but he said that his comments were “perfectly reasonable”.

On those who were offended by his comments, Shah said, “There is an atmosphere of bottled hate just waiting to be released. People are waiting to take offence to anything. If they had heard my statement, they would have realised there is nothing to get their knickers in a twist about.” 

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News Network
September 15,2021

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Days after his Taliban-RSS remark sparked a row, screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar said that ‘Hindus are the most tolerant majority in the world’ in Shiv-Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.

In his earlier statement, Akhtar had said that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) were similar to the Taliban in their form of extremism.

Clarifying his remarks, Akhtor wrote, “Actually, in the recent interview, I have said ‘Hindus are the most decent and tolerant majority’ in the world. I have repeated this time and again and also emphasised that India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature are not extremists. It is in their DNA to be moderate, to keep to the middle of the road.”

Further, Akhtar went on to explain what according to him was similar between the Taliban and Hindu right-wing. 

“As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities. While the Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right-wing wants a Hindu Rashtra. The Taliban wants to curb women’s rights and put them on the margin, the Hindutva right-wing has also made it clear that they don’t like the freedom of women and girls,” he said.

Akhtar was earlier criticised by the Shiv-Sena for his controversial comment. An editorial in Saamna said that even though Akhtar was secular and spoke against fundamentalism in general, he was completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.

In his piece, Akhtar praised Uddhav Thackeray and said that even Thackeray's worst critics could not accuse the chief minister of discrimination and injustice -- so it was beyond his understanding why the Thackeray government might be referred to as ‘Talibani’.

“My detractors have said that while I am criticizing the Hindu right-wing I have never stood against fanatics among the Muslim fold. They have accused me of not saying anything about triple talaq, of not speaking on purdah or any other regressive practice within the Muslim community. I am not surprised at the fact that they are totally unaware of my activities over the years,” he also said.

“Over the past two decades, I have been given police protection twice because of the threats to my life from fanatical Muslims: first, because not only had I vociferously opposed triple talaq when the issue was not on the national radar, but I had, along with an organisation named Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), toured several cities across India like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Aligarh and from a variety of public platforms spoken out against this retrograde practice,” he said.

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News Network
September 9,2021

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Mumbai, Sept 9: The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by actor Kangana Ranaut seeking quashing of the criminal defamation proceedings initiated against her by a court here based on lyricist Javed Akhtar's complaint.

High court judge, Justice Revati Mohite Dere, who had on September 1 reserved her order on the plea, said the applicant's (Ranaut's) petition "stands dismissed".

Ranaut, through her counsel Rizwan Siddiquee, had challenged the defamation proceedings that were initiated by the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate's court earlier this year, saying that the court had failed to apply its mind to the case.

Akhtar's counsel Jay Bharadwaj, however, told the high court that the magistrate had directed for the police inquiry after going through the lyricist's complaint and excerpts of Ranaut's interview, in which she had made the alleged defamatory comments. Akhtar had filed the criminal complaint against Ranaut in November last year before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate for allegedly making defamatory and baseless comments against him in a television interview given to journalist Arnab Goswami.

In December 2020, the court directed the Juhu police to conduct an inquiry into Akhtar's complaint against Ranaut and then initiated criminal proceedings against her, and issued summons to her in February this year. 

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