"'Erotica' is not 'porn', my husband innocent": Shilpa Shetty to police
Actor Shilpa Shetty has said she was unaware of the exact nature of content on 'Hotshots' - the mobile app via which her husband, Raj Kundra, is accused of streaming pornographic content - Mumbai Police sources have told news agency ANI.
Police sources told ANI that Ms Shetty said it was another accused - London-based Pradeep Bakshi, Mr Kundra's brother-in-law - who was involved with the app. She also stressed the difference between 'erotica' and 'pornography', and said Mr Kundra was not involved in producing pornographic content.
Police recorded Ms Shetty's statement yesterday evening as they questioned her. They were checking if she knew about her husband's alleged link to the pornographic films, sources said.
Also yesterday Mr Kundra, who was arrested this week, was sent to police custody till July 27. Police said they had seized 48 TB worth of images and videos, most of which is adult content.
Police also said they had a record of transactions - from an account in Yes Bank registered to Mr Kundra to one in the United Bank of Africa. They suspect money from sale of pornographic content was used for online betting.
Rs 7.5 crore has been seized so far.
During yesterday's hearing his lawyer, Abad Ponda, had objected to classifying the seized content as 'pornography'. Mr Ponda said the content could not come under Section 67 of the IT Act - for which bail is not allowed - as similar material is available on OTT platforms like Netflix.
It can be covered only under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code - which deals with "lascivious" material, he said, adding "no further custody is needed".
Mr Kundra has denied any wrongdoing, and has also named Pradeep Bakshi as the key figure.
However, police have said Mr Kundra was kept updated on the finances of the app, and allegedly also set up a WhatsApp group to discuss the production, distribution and selling of content.
Mr Kundra has approached the Bombay High Court to challenge his arrest and dismiss the lower court's order on extending police custody on that distinction. His petition also claims he was arrested after being summoned to the police station "under the garb of recording his statement".
The police say Raj Kundra, 45, is a "key conspirator" in the case, and that they had sufficient evidence against him; this includes pornographic clips and emails found in his office.
The case was registered February 4 after a woman told the police she had been forced to take part in a porn film after being promised an acting job, a police officer quoted by PTI said.