Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch team escort Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra (L) for allegedly producing and broadcasting pornographic films online. (Photo credit: AFP)
There has been a “mockery” of legal requirements before arrest as mandated by law and the SC, said business person Raj Kundra’s counsel on Thursday before the Bombay HC, reports Swati Deshpande. Kundra and co-accused Ryan Thorpe have challenged their arrest as illegal in the case of alleged “production and streaming of porn content”. In its affidavit, the state said police complied with the law and had issued a notice under section 41A (1) of CrPC to both, which was accepted by Thorpe but “refused” by Kundra.
The state’s reply, filed by Mumbai police inspector property cell, CID, on Thursday, said “refusal to accept the notice implies” refusal to cooperate with investigation and that apart, on July 19 both the accused “started deleting from WhatsApp group and chat causing evidence of offence to disappear” and hence brought to the crime branch and arrested.
“Police never gave him notice under Section 41A (1) Criminal Procedure Code and have never in its first remand application mentioned any such,” said senior counsel Aabad Ponda for Kundra who is actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband. Arguing at length before Justice Ajay Gadkari, he said “assuming, without admitting” that Kundra refused to sign on the notice, the legal option before the police was “not to whisk him away” but to approach the magistrate for permission as mandated under Section 41A (4). Ponda and advocate Subhash Jadhav also said, “Nowhere in its first or second remand do the police say that Kundra or his colleagues tried to destroy or delete any texts”.