Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty's husband Raj Kundra denied bail in adult film case

The businessman, who was arrested last week, has been named as 'key conspirator' by Mumbai Police

Mumbai Police's Crime Branch team escort Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty's husband Raj Kundra (L) for allegedly producing and broadcasting pornographic films online, in Mumbai on July 27, 2021.  AFP
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A Mumbai court on Wednesday denied bail to Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty's husband Raj Kundra, who has been accused of producing adult films, police said.

Kundra, 45, who has been named as “key conspirator” in the case, was arrested last week on Monday, July 19.

Mumbai Police spokesman S Chaitanya said the businessman would remain in judicial custody following the latest hearing, adding: "His bail was denied".

Kundra has been charged with cheating, indulging in obscene acts in public places and publicly exhibiting or circulating obscene books or literature and under the Information Technology Act, The Times of India reported.

"There was a case registered with Crime Branch Mumbai in February 2021 about the creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps. We’ve arrested Mr Raj Kundra in this case,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said earlier.

The arrest was the latest scandal to hit Kundra, a businessman who in 2015 was banned for life from all cricket-related activities, following an investigation into match-fixing allegations. Kundra was one of the co-owners of the Rajasthan Royals team, along with Shetty, in the hugely successful Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise.

Soon after his arrest, he was taken for medical examination at JJ Hospital and was later taken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner's office, where he spent Monday night in the custody of the Crime Branch, the daily said.

Shetty, who made her Bollywood debut in 1993, is a known name in the UK after she won the Celebrity Big Brother reality show in 2007. She married Kundra, who was born in London, in 2009 and the couple have two children, Viaan, 9, and Samisha, 1.

Kundra wrote a book How Not to Make Money in 2013, reportedly inspired by real-life stories. It told the story of three friends who grow up in the same London neighbourhood and devise a foolproof get-rich-quick scheme.

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror in 2015 about his plans of turning the book into a film, Kundra was asked if he’d like to play any of the characters.

"If I could, I’d love to play one of the three criminals for real,” he said, “The three boys are doing something completely wrong with all their heart. Their word is their word and this is a quality I admire most in people.”

On Friday, Kundra appeared before a Mumbai court, which ordered him to stay in police custody until Tuesday.

Local media reports said police have also questioned Shetty about her involvement in the case, but S Chaitanya, the Mumbai police spokesman, refused to comment on that.

Shetty, a judge on the reality show Super Dancer, was absent on set this week. "Shilpa is quite disturbed with Raj’s arrest. She did not feel up to coming to the shoot today, and has been home, taking care of her kids," a source told the Indian Express.

The actress, however, took to social media to promote her latest film, Hungama 2, streaming on Disney Hotstar.

"Hungama 2 involves the relentless efforts of an entire team that’s worked very hard to make a good film, and the film shouldn’t suffer… ever! So today, I request you all to watch Hungama 2 with your families to put a smile on your face and for the sake of every single person attached to the film," she posted.

Updated: July 29, 2021, 6:41 AM