Raj Kundra Porn Case: Cops Says “Can’t Be Mute Spectators If Evidence Destroyed”

Cannot Be Mute Spectators,” say Cops In Raj Kundra Case

Highlights:

  • Raj Kundra challenged his arrest saying he was not summoned by the police prior to his arrest
  • Mumbai police have said that they have strong information that he was trying to destroy evidence
  • On Monday, Mumbai police said, “Can’t Be Mute Spectators If Evidence Destroyed,”

The law enforcement agencies which are investigating a potential crime cannot be “mute spectators” if the accused does not co-operate with them and instead tries to destroy evidence, the Mumbai Police told the Bombay High Court on Monday.

The court was hearing a petition by businessman Raj Kundra in which he challenged his arrest last month on charges of producing and streaming pornographic content.

He claimed that the police should not have arrested him as they did not summon him prior to taking him into custody, however, the police insist it was necessary as he was “trying to destroy evidence”; last week 4 of his employees told the police that they were instructed to delete the alleged porn clips.

The Mumbai Police said, “If they (the accused) are trying to destroy evidence, is the investigating agency supposed to be a mere spectator? If the accused are not co-operating and are destroying evidence, the investigating agency won’t be a mute spectator,” today.

The police told the Bombay High Court that Raj Kundra had deleted his iCloud account, but they managed to find “61 porn videos” and a script with adult content on his laptop, as well as 51 more in digital storage.

The Mumbai Police said that they also found a WhatsApp group on his mobile phone that contained chats with other accused as well as a PowerPoint presentation with marketing strategies and projections for “Hotshots” – the mobile app via which Mr Kundra is accused of distributing the videos.

The police, pointing out that the District Magistrate (DM) has found no fault with Raj Kundra’s arrest, said, “We have recovered e-mails, browsing history, FaceTime details”.

However, senior advocate Abad Ponda appearing for Raj Kundra pointed out that the remand application confirmed that two hard disks, a laptop and a mobile phone were in the police’s custody.

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Sr Advocate Ponda asked, “If my machines are with you, how will I (Mr. Kundra) delete?” and added, “If I deleted before the notice, then they would not have issued the notice to me.”

He also argued that “This is a case of documentary deletion which requires a machine (a computer). My case is that entries in the case diary are contrary to the records of the case,” and pointed out that the police “can write anything in the case diary”.

He also added, “It is contrary to the facts of the case. It is not their case that we deleted during the panchanama (a record of materials gathered during the search of Mr Kundra’s home)… and we can’t delete once the devices are with them. Nobody can delete data in their presence and escape”.

On last Thursday, the Mumbai Police said that a notice was issued prior to his arrest but Raj Kundra refused to accept it. The police argued that the refusal “implies the petitioner refused to co-operate”.

Sr Advocate Ponda argued that such notices give a person two weeks to appear for questioning.

“Kundra was not even given two days or two hours. His office premises were searched on the afternoon of July 19… for about three to four hours during which Kundra was present and cooperating. Later he was asked to accompany the police…and he was arrested,” said Sr Advocate Ponda.

The police claimed that Raj Kundra and his aide, Ryan Thorpe, who has also been arrested, began deleting messages from a WhatsApp group while the search was on, thus destroying evidence.

Raj Kundra’s bail application was also denied last week.

As of now, Raj Kundra is in judicial custody and is at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail. He has argued the content in question is not pornography, and that similar material is being streamed on OTT platforms including Netflix.

Raj Kundra’s wife Shilpa Shetty, on Monday, underlined her faith in the law and the judicial process and said she would not comment on the allegations and alleged “unwarranted aspersions”, rumours and accusations.

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Swastika Dubey

Swastika Dubey is a content writer who has a keen interest in politics, fashion, and lifestyle. She is a post-graduate in Economics and loves to listen to classic old Hindi songs and travel to new places in her leisure time. Her writing is well researched, covering important aspects and core of the topic covering crucial points.

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