Bail of Raj Kundra, aide denied; investigation gains pace
Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty's husband, who was arrested last week for being the "key conspirator" in a pornographic racket, has been denied bail. His aide and IT head Ryan Thorpe too faced the same. The hearing in this case was held at Esplanade Court. This comes after Bombay High Court rejected the businessman's bail plea yesterday and sent him to a 14-day judicial custody.
Yesterday, HC sent Kundra to judicial custody till August 10
The judicial custody ends on August 10. The High Court has kept the next hearing on July 29. Kundra is facing legal fire because of his involvement with HotShots, an app, which streamed pornographic films. His brother-in-law Pradeep Bakshi, chairman of UK-based Kenrin Production House, which ran HotShots, has also been named in this racket. But apparently, he was simply "used as a face."
Gehana Vasisth named as an accused by Mumbai Police
The "overall functioning of HotShots" was looked after by Kundra, said a Crime Branch official. He is also an investor and co-owner of Kenrin. The official added that after Kundra got arrested, "other victims approached & gave statements." As a result, cops were being able to register cases against three to four more people, and have named Gandii Baat actress Gehana Vasisth as accused.
When HotShots got deleted, Kundra developed Bollyfame, its replacement
Recently, four of Kundra's employees have turned witnesses, who reportedly told cops that they were asked to delete the pornographic films from their devices. They confirmed that the flicks were uploaded on HotShots, which was eventually deleted from Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. So Kundra developed another app as a replacement and named it Bollyfame. And, this was his Plan B.
The 'Hungama 2' actress is still under scanner
Officials also visited Shetty and Kundra's residence in Mumbai a few days back, and had interrogated the actress. She apparently broke down after a "huge argument" with Kundra and claimed to have no knowledge of her husband's connection to this racket. However, "crime branch officials found transactions worth crores" being done from their joint account, indicating the Hungama 2 actress is still under scanner.
Here is how the racket came to the fore
It all started in February, when a woman approached cops complaining that she was forced to do pornographic films, after being promised a job in the film industry. An FIR was lodged and probe started. After Mumbai Police found "sufficient evidence," they arrested Kundra last week. As per investigation, pornographic content was created and uploaded on apps like HotShots, all allegedly backed by Kundra.