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Plug pulled on smut phone

New Delhi, Dec. 21: The minor boy behind the sex video scandal destroyed the mobile phone he had allegedly used to shoot an act of sexual engagement with a fellow student of a Delhi school, police told a juvenile court today.

Information that neither the mobile phone nor its SIM card or the video clip is available opens the boy to the charge of destruction of evidence.

The police told the court that the boy had admitted this during interrogation.

Delhi High Court granted bail to Avnish Bajaj, the CEO of baazee.com, the portal on which the sex video clip was put up for sale. Bajaj's arrest sparked controversy as he is a US citizen, with the Prime Minister's Office asking the police if the step could have been avoided. Sources said PMO officials yesterday made enquiries with Delhi police's economic offences wing.

The court asked Bajaj to furnish two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each and told him to surrender his passport and not leave the country without permission. Bajaj was arrested despite his agreeing to cooperate with the probe, a point in his favour that the court noted. It directed him to join the investigation when required.

In the juvenile court, the boy was sent to an observation home run by an NGO till January 4. Earlier, the police were allowed to interrogate him in the presence of a juvenile welfare officer for a day. His bail plea will be heard tomorrow.

Yesterday, while permitting the police to detain the boy for a day for interrogation, the court had observed that recovery of the cellphone, the instrument used in committing the crime, was important as it was key material evidence.

Failure to recover the cellphone, along with police allegations that the appearance of the room where the video had been shot was changed later, means charges against the boy are piling up.

The boy has said the clip, originally shot in July 2004, was not leaked by him. It came into circulation only in November when it fell into the hands of two of his friends.

 

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