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MMS scandal case: IITian granted bail

December 24, 2004 23:17 IST

Indian Institute of Technology student Ravi Raj, accused of selling a sexually explicit video clip involving two minor school students via the Internet, was on Friday granted bail by a Delhi court, which took into consideration the fact that the prime accused have already been released on bail.

Additional Sessions Judge Aruna Suresh directed him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court.

The court also directed him not to leave the country and surrender his passport, co-operate with the investigation and not try to influence any witness.

Interestingly, the court observed that the website, on which Raj is alleged to have posted the clip, had committed a serious lapse by not removing the same from the site on the very first day it was posted there.

According to police, Raj opened an account under the name Alice Electronics on the website on July 21. He posted the clip in that account on November 27 and it remained there till November 29.

Police also claimed that besides the MMS clip, he had also been selling other pornographic material through the net.

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Raj, a final year MSc Geophysics student of IIT Kharagpur was arrested on December 14 and produced before a Delhi court two days later. The court had remanded him to three days police custody.

Two other accused in the case www.baazee.com CEO Avnish Bajaj and the schoolboy, who allegedly created the clip have already got bail.

In another development, the juvenile Court in Delhi issued show cause notices to two prominent TV channels for allegedly identifying the minor boy involved in the scandal.

Juvenile Justice Board Principal Magistrate Santosh Snehi Mann issued notices to the channels after Puneet Mittal, counsel for the minor boy's school, and the boy's counsel Amit Khanna produced print outs from the websites run by the channels showing they had 'violated the law' in this regard by publishing the name of the school.

The court asked both the channels to reply by January 11.

The school had moved the application through Mittal alleging that a Delhi newspaper and certain TV channels blatantly contravened the law, which says the identity of the juvenile should not be published.

Meanwhile, the daily, against which a show cause notice was issued for allegedly identifying the juvenile, on Friday told the court that the page on which the name of the boy's school appeared was printed before the court's delivered its order on Tuesday asking the media to desist from giving out details about the identity of the minor boy.

The court said publishing the identity of the juvenile was statutorily banned and hence the newspaper had violated the law - Section 21 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child) Act - and not just its order.

Though the newspaper apologised verbally, the court asked it to tender a written unconditional apology and file an affidavit in this regard on January 11.

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