The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted interim protection from arrest to businessman Raj Kundra in the first information report registered in 2020 by the Cyber cell of Mumbai Police in porn film racket case.
Advocate Prashant Patil appearing for Kundra argued that the co-accused in the FIR were already out on bail.
He further argued that the offences charged against Kundra were all punishable with less than 7 years of imprisonment and for this reason the application ought to be allowed.
Opposing the plea, Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde submitted that the role of the accused in the case was different from the other accused in the case. She sought time to take more instructions on the merits of the application.
Granting her time, Justice Sandeep K Shinde directed an interim order protecting Kundra from arrest till the next hearing date which is August 25, 2021.
Kundra has sought pre-arrest bail in the October 2020 FIR registered by the Cyber Crime department of Mumbai Police in connection with broadcasting of nude erotic content on OTT platform.
The offences arraigned in the FIR were Sections 292, 293 (sale of obscene material) under the Indian Penal Code, Sections 66E, 67, 67A (transmission of sexually explicit material) under the Information Technology Act and provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Kundra submitted that he was falsely implicated in the case while the Cyber Cell was making an attempt to connect him with the crime.
He submitted there is not a single iota of evidence with the prosecution to connect Hotshot app with the offences alleged as none of the actresses that were arraigned as accused in the case had raised any grievance.
Kundra was arrested in a similar FIR of 2021 registered by the Crime Branch with similar offences. The allegations in the chargesheet filed in the 2021 case and the present FIR are identical, he said, causing him apprehension of arrest in the present case as well.
He is already in custody in relation to a 2021 FIR registered for similar offences.
Kundra moved the High Court after a Mumbai Sessions Court recently rejected his anticipatory bail application.
The High Court had also recently dismissed his plea assailing his remand to custody and subsequent orders of the Metropolitan Magistrate in another FIR in the porn film racket case.