Avnish Bajaj v. State (NCT) of Delhi

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Bail application in a case involving the publication of a listing for sale of an obscene video

Avnish Bajaj v. State (NCT) of Delhi
116 (2005) DLT 427
In the High Court of Delhi
B.A. 2284/2004
Before Justice Vikramajit Sen
Decided on December 21, 2004

Relevancy of the case: Bail application in a case involving the publication of a listing for sale of an obscene video

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 67, 85)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 292, 294)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The accused is the CEO of Baazi.com. This website facilitates the sale of any property and receives a commission. The website also generated revenue from advertisements for the same.
  • The accused allegedly failed to stop the transaction of an illegal item. On their website, a user posted a listing titled DPS girl having fun”. The prosecution has stated that the accused failed to stop the sale even after learning its illegal nature.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the abovementioned provisions do not consider causing the transmission of obscene material as an offence. They only consider publication of it. There is no evidence to show that the accused caused the publication of the clip, directly or indirectly. Further, the company took remedial steps within 38 hours, as the intermediate period was a weekend. They took down the listing after learning its illegal nature, and it is not available on the website anymore. If the court rejects this bail application, it would adversely impact the upcoming e-commerce industry in the country.
  • The public prosecutor argued that the accused was remiss in handling the evidence. The description of the item itself should have raised the alarm. Moreover, he should have approached the Sessions Court first.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The court rejected the petitioner’s content about the adverse impact on the e-commerce industry.
  • The court relied on multiple judgements to note that the State should have bought its objection on approaching the High Court directly at previous hearings.
  • The accused has actively participated in the investigation, as the public prosecutor has not contended otherwise. Further, the fact that he is no longer an Indian citizen does not disentitle him from bail.

Final Decision

  • The court granted the bail with conditions.

Akshita Rohatgi, an undergraduate student at the University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU, prepared this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2021.