A few things, mostly technical notes...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Delhi "Sex" Scandal and the CEO of Bazee.com, the Scape Goat of archiac laws.

Let's see.

Two teenaged students of the Delhi Public School (DPS), around 17 years of age have sex, that too oral sex. The boy shot it on his CellPhone, and distributed it to others over MMS. As the grapevine does it, it is circulated quite well.

Ravi Raj, a final year student of geophysics at the IIT Kharagpur in West Bengal gets this 2.37-minute clip, and writes a CD and wants to sell it. He posts his "item to sell" on Bazee.com, Indian Avatar and Subsidiary of Ebay.com. From what I understand from the newspapers, Ravi was to mail the clip to those who paid him. 7 people tried to buy, and 5 paid Rs. 125.00, which would roughly equate to $3.00

All the hell broke loose then. Having solved all other problems of the 25% of population below the poverty line which itself is way too below to ease the statistics, the authorities sprang into action.

Avnish Bajaj, CEO of Baazee.com, who is an US citizen is contacted by the Police, and he voluntarily flies to Delhi to aid in the investigation. Bajaj was arrested on December 17 with police claiming that baazee.com listed the MMS clip on its site under the title '...Girl Having Fun' for sale on November 24, which was put up by Ravi Raj. It was merely a listing, and Ravi did not post the alleged obscene material on its website.

The listing was removed by Bazee officials when it was brought unto their attention. It remained active for about 38 hours, of which 24 hours was on a Sunday.

Perhaps if logic has this way, the Indian Prime Minister can be grilled for the Crimes in India. Or the DOT folks can be arrested for potholes in their Highways, Or a newspaper editor can be arrested if some one puts up a phony ad there.

He was sent to the Tihar Jail, like a common criminal. "Just like any other inmate, Bajaj sleeps on a bed-sheet on the ground. No one gets a bed here," Tihar Jail's Director General of Prisons, R P Singh, tells Indiatimes News Network. He gets just about enough space in his cell to curl up and sleep, if at all he manages to get some.

Sources alleged jail superintendents "must be extorting a lot of money from him, else they would make him work like a slave".

But DGP Singh denies this, saying, "Undertrials are not made to work at all."

A statement that is rubbished by a former inmate, who recently got bail in a rape case. "I paid lakhs (of rupees) so that I am not made to work. Otherwise undertrials have to work," he says.

He further adds that every new inmate is "made to clean the dirty toilets (three in a cell) for a week at a stretch." "It's part of ragging," he emphasises.

National Association of Software and Service Companies on Monday condemned the arrest of e-commerce portal Baazee.com's CEO Avnish Bajaj in the Delhi Public School MMS scandal.

"We condemn the arrest. We are extremely dismayed at what has happened (the arrest of Bajaj)," Nasscom President Kiran Karnik said on the sidelines of a conference organised by TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs).

A BJP member in Lok Sabha on Monday voiced strong objection to US Secretary of State-designate and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice reportedly pleading for Avnish Bajaj.

Senior Advocates Arun Jaitley and A S Chandhik , with US Consular aides, finally managed to secure a conditional bail for Avinash on the 21st, he had to surrender his Passport until the investigation is over.

Meanwhile, the schoolboy who allegedly prepared the sexually explicit clip was sent to a Juvenile home on Tuesday, after the Delhi Police revealed that the cellphone used to make the film had been destroyed. With the police not pressing for further interrogation, the judge incharge of the Juvenile Board sent the boy to the juvenile home till January 4. The girl was sent outside India by her family, as this issue gained momentum. Neither of them have lodged any complaints.

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