Updated: July 21, 2021 2:12:29 PM
Businessman Raj Kundra, actor husband and businesswoman Shilpa Shetty, was arrested by Mumbai police on Monday in connection with an adult cinema racket. What is the case, and is Kundra facing another similar case?
In what case was Raj Kundra arrested?
On February 4 this year, Mumbai police said they had arrested five people for allegedly forcing women to watch pornographic films. They promised these aspiring actresses, who came to Mumbai from various parts of the country, roles in web series. However, on the day of filming, they changed the script and threatened the women with exposure. If the women refused, they were asked to foot the bill for the preparations for the shoot.
Once the films had been shot, the accused made them available on mobile applications, offering subscriptions on the lines of consumer OTT platforms. They would then place advertisements on social media platforms. Since pornography is illegal in India, this too was against the law.
How and where were these films made?
Police say it would normally be a daylong shoot in a rented bungalow on the outskirts of Mumbai like Madh Island. There would be a minimum staff of five to six people who would double as directors, dialogue writers, location finders, and web application developers. These apps became particularly popular during the lockdown, with some having a lakhs subscriber base, police said.
What did the police say was Raj Kundra’s role?
The police investigation had two aspects. One would catch those who produced these porn shows and the other would focus on whoever was streaming those clips. Some of these production houses broadcast from servers located outside the country.
One of these British production houses, which uploaded such content, was placed under police scanning and its director Umesk Kamat was arrested. An officer said it was Kundra’s alleged connection to Kamat and the company that downloaded the pornographic material that got him into trouble.
Are there other similar cases pending against Kundra?
Kundra had requested early bail last time months in connection with a case registered by Maharashtra’s cyber police last year. Also in this case, the cyber police had registered an FIR against various platforms which they claimed were involved in the dissemination of pornographic content. The court is expected to rule on the request for early bail next week.