A special court in Banda on Tuesday reserved its order on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea seeking the custody of a UP irrigation department junior engineer arrested for allegedly sexually exploiting minors and selling pornographic material on them online. The court will announce its order on Wednesday.
Ram Bhawan Singh has been in Banda jail since his arrest on November 17. The jail authorities on Tuesday told the court that Singh had tested positive for Covid-19, said Additional District Government Counsel (Banda) Manoj Dixit. The accused has been shifted to an isolation cell in the jail and he is undergoing treatment, according to a report submitted by the jail administration.
The CBI had moved court a day after arresting Singh, and sought his custody for five days to ascertain the identities of the other accused and victims and recover other electronic gadgets used in the alleged crime. The agency told the court that the accused was not ready to share the facts of the case and his custody was required to uncover his modus operandi, said Dixit. The CBI also said they want to take Singh to Chitrakoot and Banda for identity and recover the gadgets.
Defence lawyer Anurag Singh Patel, who is representing Singh, said, “After hearing arguments from both the sides, Additional District and Sessions Judge Rizwan Ahmad reserved the order and fixed November 25 for pronouncement of the order.”
The agency has claimed that during a search of the accused’s house investigators recovered 10 cell phones, two laptops, six toys, six memory cards, six pen drives and also one digital video recording camera. They also claimed to have found 65 pornographic videos and 610 photographs sold on the dark web in the gadgets.
The CBI told the court that Rs 3 lakhs were recovered from Singh’s house and he failed to satisfactorily answer about its source during initial questioning. The electronic devices were sent to New Delhi for forensic analysis, it added.
Singh, who hails from Naraini in Banda, has been posted in Hamirpur, Banda and Chitrakoot districts during his career. Before his arrest, he was living in Banda with his wife in rented accommodation. After his arrest, Singh’s wife left the house.
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