Cheating case: Raj Kundra accused of threatening complainant

Thane: Actress Shilpa Shetty, her husband Raj Kundra and three others facing a case of duping an export firm owner of Rs 24 lakh, were on Friday ordered by a court here to give an undertaking that they would never threaten the exporter.

The five were asked by Additional Sessions Judge Sangeeta Khalipe to give the undertaking after the counsel for the export firm owner Ravi Bhalotia alleged that Kundra threatened his client right inside the court room.

Bhalotia is the complainant in the case of cheating and breach of trust against Shetty, Kundra and three others, who were present in the courtroom for hearing on their anticipatory bail pleas.

As the hearing began, Bhalotia’s counsel Vishal Bhanushali said Kundra told his client inside the court that he “would recover Rs 100 crore from him(Bhalotia).” Bhalotia also filed an affidavit to back his allegation.

The judge then sought an undertaking from all the five accused that they will not indulge in such behaviour again. The defence lawyer agreed to give the undertaking tomorrow.

The court, on May 9, had granted Shetty, Kundra and their three associates interim protection from the arrest after they sought the pre-arrest bail. Advocate Bhanushali told PTI that he would also file a police complaint in this matter.

The drama unfolded in a packed courtroom, as litigants and lawyers thronged the courtroom and the adjoining corridor to catch a glimpse of the Bollywood actress.

In April 2017, Bhalotia, owner of Bhalotia Exports, had lodged an FIR with Kongaon police in Thane district that he had supplied bedsheets to Best Deal TV (BDTV) of which Kundra and Shetty are directors. BDTV, an e-commerce and tele-shopping platform, sold the bedsheets but didn’t pay him sale proceeds of Rs 24 lakh, he alleged.

Police registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust under the IPC. They also questioned Kundra. On May 9, the Thane court had granted interim protection from arrest to Kundra, Shetty and three other accused who were former directors of BDTV.

During the arguments today, prosecution opposed their pre-arrest bail pleas, saying there is a clear-cut case of cheating, and the accused could influence the probe since they are influential people. The court would pass the order on bail pleas tomorrow, advocate Bhanushali told PTI.