CEO of eBay-owned India auction site arrested

Delhi police Friday arrested Avnish Bajaj, the chief executive officer of Baazee.com India, an eBay owned Indian online auction portal, for allegedly allowing the sale of pornographic video CDs (VCDs) that showed two Delhi minors in a sexual act.

Bajaj was arrested under section 67 of India's Information Technology Act, which relates to transmission of obscene material through electronic media, according to the police.

EBay, of San Jose, California, acquired Mumbai-based Baazee.com in August of this year.

Baazee.com countered that the site was unaware of the VCDs' content, and removed the items as soon as it found out that they were pornographic. Auctioning pornographic VCDs violated the site's rules, according to a Baazee.com spokeswoman.

Earlier this week Delhi police arrested a student from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur in West Bengal state for allegedly selling the sex clip on Baazee.com.

The VCDs' auction is the latest twist to a scandal that started with an MMS (multimedia messaging service) clip of the sexual act being sent to mobile phones across Delhi last month.

The clip was taken using an MMS-enabled phone allegedly by one of the participants in the sexual act. Clip recipients copied the content to VCDs and sold the discs, according to the police, who are still investigating the scandal. The clip traveled around India and overseas via the Internet and the VCDs. The two students, a girl and a boy, were expelled by their school.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service

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