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Raj Kundra is accused of offense detrimental to society's 'health': Court


MUMBAI: The alleged offense for which businessman Raj Kundra and his associate Ryan Thorpe were arrested last month was "detrimental" to society's health, and society's interest in such cases can not be "overlooked", a magistrate's court here has said.

While rejecting their bail pleas on July 28 in a case related to alleged production and streaming of pornographic content through apps, the court also said that the police had followed the legal procedure.

The detailed order passed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S B Bhajipale became available on Tuesday.

Kundra and Thorpe were arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch on July 19, and are presently in judicial custody.

The alleged offense is "detrimental to the health of our society", and "socital interest in the prosecution of a crime which has a wider social dimension cannot be overlooked", the magistrate said.

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The accused have also moved the Bombay High Court challenging their arrest, pleading that the police did not issue a notice as required under section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the arrest.

The HC has reserved its order.

But the magistrate noted that the investigating officer (IO) had recorded reason for the arrest, as required.

"This court on July 20 (during a remand hearing) came to the conclusion that the arrest of the accused is as per law," the judge said.

"The IO has already mentioned the reasons for the arrest of both the accused. In such circumstances, it cannot be said that the accused are entitled to bail," the magistrate said.

As per the IO's reply, Pradeep Bakshi, an accused who is a relative of Kundra, was absconding.

Also, a huge amount of data was collected by the police and its analysis was still going on, the court said.

Remanding the accused in judicial custody (as against police custody) does not mean that the probe is over, it said.

The accused had deleted some incriminating data, and there was every possibility that they may tamper with evidence if released on bail, the court said.


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