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eBay's Bajaj Allowed Bail in Tape Case

eBay won a minor victory in New Delhi after a judge granted bail Tuesday for one of its executives arrested last weekend in a case involving a pornographic tape that a customer tried to sell on the auction site's subsidiary.

Avnish Bajaj, India country manager for Baazee.com, a subsidiary of eBay, was jailed after arriving in the country's capital city to aid authorities in capturing the person who listed a sex tape for sale on the Baazee.com site. The tape was never shown.

"We are extremely pleased that Mr. Bajaj, who was unexpectedly arrested on Friday, has been released from custody on bail, and we applaud the Indian justice system for making this decision quickly," a statement from eBay Tuesday morning stated. "Mr. Bajaj will continue to cooperate with the police investigation into this matter."

While the actual content was never actually hosted on the site -- the seller indicated he would e-mail the clip to buyers -- Bajaj was accused of violating a provision within India's Information Technology Act of 2000. The act forbids the publication of indecent materials, or allowing them to be published. However, it also contains language that frees network operators from liability if they proactively work to take offensive material off the site.

Originally, the Indian courts had refused to allow bail for the eBay executive and Bajaj was expected to be released Christmas Eve. And while he's free to roam the country, Bajaj must still face the courts over the indecency charge levied against him, though a court date hasn't been scheduled.

Ebay officials, who were outraged by Bajaj's arrest, has cooperated with authorities since the sex clip first appeared on the site in November.

According to eBay officials, Bajaj and the rest of Baazee.com's staff immediately took the listing down after it appeared and helped authorities track down the identity of the person who put the clip up for sale on the site.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the seller -- an engineering student in eastern India -- was arrested a week ago and the boy who filmed the sex act on his cell phone was arrested Sunday night.