Mumbai: The district court in Thane on Sunday granted anticipatory bail to actress Shilpa Shetty, her businessman husband Raj Kundra and three others in a cheating case filed by a textile firm owner. The court had earlier granted the accused interim protection from arrest. Additional Sessions Judge Sangeeta Khalipe said in her order that in the event of arrest, the accused be released on personal bond or surety of Rs 1 lakh each.
Ravi Bhalotia, the owner of Bhalotia Exports of Bhiwandi, had lodged a FIR with the Kongaon police last month, stating that he had supplied bedsheets to Best Deal TV (BDTV), a company in which Kundra and Shetty are directors. The complainant alleged that BDTV, an e-commerce and teleshopping platform, sold the bedsheets but did not pay him the proceeds of Rs 24 lakh.
Defence lawyer Aniket Nikam told the court that the accused had no intention to cheat, adding that BDTV had already paid Rs 1 crore to the complainant and only Rs 24 lakh were due. He also claimed that the complainant owed the accused Rs 25 lakh by way of compensation for a delayed delivery. As regards Bhalotia’s allegation that Kundra yesterday threatened him inside the courtroom that he would “recover Rs 100 crore” from him, Nikam said it was not a threat. Kundra had filed a suit against the complainant and only asked the latter to “keep Rs 100 crore ready”, he told the court.
The defence lawyer also said the accused were ready to tender an apology over the issue. Public Prosecutor Vinit Kulkarni opposed the anticipatory bail applications of the accused. Referring to yesterday’s incident, he said the court should take a serious view of Kundra’s behaviour.