DPS MMS scandal

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The DPS MMS scandal refers to a sex scandal in November 2004 that involved the creation of pornographic MMS by two students of Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram (also known as DPS R. K. Puram) and its illegal distribution as well as bid to auction on eBay India (then known as Baazee.com).[1]

The MMS clip[edit]

The alleged pornographic MMS clip was 2 minutes and 37 seconds long and was shot by the two 17-year-old[2] students of DPS, R.K Puram school involved, on a Nokia 6600 Smartphone. It is reported that the sexual act as well as the making of the clip was a consensual activity as admitted by the students.[3]

Students involved[edit]

While the two students in the sexual act and filming were underage students of Delhi Public School, once the video clip went viral on mobile phones, Raviraj Singh, an engineering student was prosecuted for allegedly selling the video clip on baazee.com. While the two producer-students were not prosecuted since they were minors and Raviraj Singh was acquitted because he had not made any sales of the clip yet and his possession of the clip could not be proved beyond certainty, the blame was then directed to Avnish Bajaj, the CEO of Baazee[4]

Auction bid[edit]

On 9 December 2004 a news item appeared in Delhi-based tabloid Today with the headline "DPS sex video at baazee.com". The news item by Anupam Thapa had the tag "Outrage" and was an exclusive story and stated "online website goes ahead with the sale of the infamous clip". The news item stated: "India's biggest online trading portal baazee.com had listed the said MMS clip under the title 'DPS girls having fun' with the member ID of 27877408. The police upon investigation learnt that one Alice Electronics of Kharagpur, West Bengal had since 27th November 2004 sold 8 copies of the said MMS clip."[citation needed] After this story appeared Delhi Police Commissioner took cognizance of the news item and ordered crime branch to register a case and investigate. Crime branch of Delhi Police registered a case at Hauz Khas Police Station naming Anupam Thapa as complainant in the case and treating the entire story as a First Information Report.[citation needed] Avnish Bajaj, the then CEO of the website Baazee.com was summoned by the Delhi High Court for having allowed this clip to be listed for auction under sections 67 and 85 of the I-T Act, 2000. While Section 67 prohibits publishing obscene information in electronic form, Section 85 allows the prosecution of a person responsible for the business of a company over violations. Bajaj who had subsequently sold his company to eBay Pvt. Ltd. contended that mere listing could not be construed as crime under the Information Technology Act 2000.[5]

Legal consequences[edit]

This incident caused a sudden panic across the country and many discussions regarding the inefficiency of the IT Act, 2000 and the need to amend it started.[6] Also, after this scandal, owing to debates around culpability, liability and prosecution of material on the internet, several key judgments were passed including banning the use of mobile phones in college and school campuses across India.[7][citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

Four Hindi films Dev.D (2009),[8] Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2010), Ragini MMS (2011) and I Don't Luv U (2013) have a portion of the story based on this MMS scandal. The crime series Gumrah: End of Innocence featured an episode on the issue–with Aanchal Munjal playing the lead.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Avnish Bajaj vs State on 29 May, 2008". indiankanoon.org. 
  2. ^ http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/proceeding-allowed-against-baazeecom-for-sex-clip-auction_10054394.html Proceeding allowed against Baazee.com for sex clip auction
  3. ^ Manjima Bhattacharjya. "Redefining rape - Third Wave - Women". infochangeindia.org. 
  4. ^ Katrien Jacobs; Marije Janssen; Matteo Pasquinelli. "A Netporn Studies Reader" (PDF). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. p. 41. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Singh, Sanjay K (13 August 2008). "eBay chief moves SC in DPS MMS case". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 June 2018. 
  6. ^ "Playblog: Pornography, Performance, and Cyberspace". cis-india.org. 
  7. ^ "The Telegraph - Calcutta : Frontpage". telegraphindia.com. 
  8. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (16 January 2010). "Tart with a heart". Times of India Crest Edition. Retrieved 2 September 2015. The turning point in Leni's life was the MMS scandal and Kashyap confesses he used the reference to the DPS MMS scandal to show what happens to a person whose privacy is affected by cheap, hidden cameras.