Raj Kundra porn case: ‘false promises’, ‘models forced’ and what lies ahead | Editorji
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Raj Kundra porn case: ‘false promises’, ‘models forced’ and what lies ahead

Jul 21, 2021 18:01 IST | By Editorji News Desk

Already facing a life-long ban on all cricketing activities, Raj Kundra, the British-Indian businessman and husband of actress Shilpa Shetty, is now an accused in a case of production of pornographic content for mobile applications.   

The Mumbai Police, which have been probing the case involving distribution of pornographic content since February, 2021, arrested Raj Kundra from his house where he lives with his wife Shilpa Shetty and their two children.   

The police say that Kundra along with his key aide, Ryan Thorpe, is a key conspirator in the case involving the production and streaming of low-budget porn films.  

Raj Kundra, who migrated to India, after marrying Shilpa Shetty, came under scanner when Mumbai Police arrested five people on February 4, 2010 for making softcore and porn films. Among the arrested was a small-time model-actor, Gehana Vashist, who led the police to Raj Kundra’s close aide Umesh Kamat, an executive of a UK-based production company called Kenrin. It was Kamat’s interrogation that brought Raj Kundra under police scanner.
  
After Kamat’s revelations, police began to probe the owner of the UK-based production house Kenrin. Police found a UK citizen Pradeep Bakshi was running the operation and he was a relative of Kundra, who gave up his London life for Shilpa Shetty and moved to Mumbai. Pradeep Bakshi, police say, is the chairman of Kenrin and Raj Kundra’s business partner.   

In fact, leaked WhatsApp chats between Kundra and Bakshi also disclose how transactions were made and a large sum of money was minted by the creation of pornographic content.  
  

Raj Kundra has denied any involvement and has claimed that he had sold the 'Hotshots' app, on which the pornographic content was hosted, to Pradeep Bakshi. But the police say that while Kenrin was registered in the UK, its operations were carried out through Raj Kundra’s company named Viaan in India.   

Police say many aspiring actors and models were forced into nude auditions in promise of bigger film roles.   

After nude auditions, these women were forced to act in films which were mostly shot at rented bungalow or hotel on the outskirts of Mumbai. There would be a minimal staff of five to six people who would double up as directors, dialogue writers, locations scouters and web app developers.  

Once the low budget porn movies were shot, the accused made them available on mobile apps including 'Hotshots', offering subscriptions on the lines of mainstream OTT platforms.  

Raj Kundra, who shot to fame after marrying Shilpa Shetty, isn’t new to scandals. In 2015, Raj Kundra was banned for life from all cricket-related activities following an investigation into match-fixing during his stint as the co-owner with Shilpa Shetty of the IPL team Rajasthan Royals.  
  

So, what lies ahead for the disgraced businessman? The selling and distribution of pornographic material is illegal in India and if charges against Raj Kundra are proven, he could face many years in prison under IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.   

Raj Kundra and his lawyers must be banking on the Supreme Court ruling which refused to allow the blocking of pornographic websites and said that watching pornography indoors in the privacy of one's own home was not a crime. But allegations of forcing young women to pornography on false promise will be difficult for Raj Kundra to wash off in the court of law.   

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