'Raj Kundra Earned Rs 1.17 Crore From 'Porn' App In Five Months'

Mumbai- Raj Kundra earned at least Rs 1.17 crore between August and December last year from his business of production and online distribution of porn films, Mumbai Police told a court on Tuesday, seeking another extension of his custody.

The magistrate's court, however, remanded Kundra (45), who is married to Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, in judicial custody for 14 days. The Bombay High Court, meanwhile, refused to give him any urgent temporary relief.

"Interrogation of Ryan Thorpe, another accused in the case, revealed that revenue from Hotshots (an online app or platform through which alleged porn content was made available) was Rs 1, 17, 64,886 (USD 1,58,057) between August and December 2020," the remand plea of the police said.

This revenue was earned from the app on Apple Store and the police have sought information from Google too, it said. The app had more users on Google Play than the Apple Store before it was removed, so he must have earned much more revenue, the police claimed.

The investigators also wanted to scrutinize the documents recovered from nine files seized from Kundra's office during a search on July 24, the remand application said.

While the statement of a woman (who alleged that she was tricked into acting in a porn film) was recorded on July 26, more victims were likely to come forward, the police told the court.

But the court, which had granted one extension of the custody earlier, rejected the police's plea and sent Kundra in judicial custody for 14 days.

His lawyers Abad Ponda and Subhash Jadhav then filed a bail application, contending that he should be released as investigation was over. The application will be heard in due course.

Kundra was arrested on July 19 by the Mumbai police's crime branch. He had plans to sell 119 adult films to a person for USD 1.2 million, the police had claimed during an earlier remand hearing.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to give urgent relief to Kundra.

Justice A S Gadkari directed the police to file their reply by July 29 in response to a petition filed by Kundra challenging his arrest.

His lawyers argued that the police failed to follow the procedure. They should have first issued a notice to him, asking him to be present to record a statement, instead of arresting him directly, advocates Ponda and Jadhav said.

Prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai said a notice was issued to him. The HC asked Pai to file an affidavit but refused to give an interim relief to Kundra before hearing the police.

Kundra has also contended that the films made by him which the police claimed to be pornographic did not depict direct or explicit sexual acts.

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