Pornography case: Anticipatory bail granted to Raj Kundra, Poonam, Sherlyn
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to businessman Raj Kundra, Sherlyn Chopra, and Poonam Pandey, among others, in the pornography case. The case was filed against them last year for the alleged distribution of pornographic content. To note, the Bombay High Court had earlier granted interim protection to Kundra from arrest in relation to the case. Read on to know more.
Why does this story matter?
- An FIR was registered against Kundra and others after a woman complained in February 2021 about being forced to shoot porn after being promised an acting job. Chopra and Pandey were named co-accused.
- Since the accusations surfaced, Kundra maintained a low profile. He also made public appearances with full face masks.
- The SC granting anticipatory bail to him and others is an interesting development.
SC directed accused to cooperate during investigation
Granting anticipatory bail, the SC bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna also ordered all the accused to cooperate with authorities in the process of investigation. "Having heard the counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the petitioners may be granted anticipatory bail," the bench said. Advocate R Basant, representing the accused, stated they have been cooperating in the investigation.
FIR booked under several sections of the IPC
The aforementioned woman filed the case at a Mumbai police station and the FIR against Kundra and the co-accused was transferred to the Mumbai Crime Branch. Kundra—the husband of actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra—was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 420 (cheating), 292, and 293 (concerning obscene advertisements and displays) and provisions of the Information Technology Act and Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
What exactly is the case about?
The pornography case surfaced when the crime branch's property cell raided a Mumbai bungalow in February 2021 when two women were reportedly shooting a pornographic clip. Apparently, Kundra developed an app—called HotShots—to circulate such pornographic content that he later sold to his brother-in-law's Kenrin Private Limited. The crime branch named Kundra and Ryan Thorpe, IT head of Kundra's Viaan Enterprises, as the main accused.
When Kundra spoke about the case on social media
Kundra mostly remained tight-lipped, but he spoke about the case in a rare instance in September 2022. In a social media post, he wrote, "One Year Today released from [Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail]. Its a matter of time Justice will be served! The truth will be out soon! Thank you, well-wishers, and a bigger thank you to the trollers you make me stronger (sic)."