Court defers hearing on CBI plea for ‘paedophile’ engineer’s custody to Nov 24

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Banda (UP), Nov 19 (PTI) A Banda court on Thursday deferred again the hearing on a CBI plea for the custody of an engineer arrested for allegedly exploiting children sexually and selling videos and photographs of the nefarious acts on the darknet to paedophiles across the globe for the last 10 years.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Rizwan Ahmad deferred the hearing on CBI plea to November 24 saying it would decide on it after considering various objections raised by the defence counsel against the CBI custody.

On Wednesday too, the judge, who is also holding the charge of special POCSO court, had to defer the plea for the CBI custody of the engineer on the defence counsel's contentions that his client was arrested on cooked-up charges and sought time to file their objections to the CBI plea.

The court, set up under the provisions of the Protection of the Children from Sexual Offences Act, had on Wednesday remanded the engineer in judicial custody for a day, Special Public prosecutor Ram Sufal Singh said on Thursday.

The court subsequently on Thursday extended the arrested engineer’s judicial custody till November 30.

During the hearing, CBI counsel Ashok Kumar Singh and investigation officer Amit Kumar too were present in the court.

The authorities suspended the junior engineer belonging to Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department after his arrest.

The accused was first produced in the court on Wednesday and the CBI had sought his five-day remand.

The junior engineer was arrested from Banda on Tuesday by a dedicated unit of the CBI specialising in the probe into cases of Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.

The arrested junior engineer, a resident of Chitrakoot district, is alleged to have victimised about 50 children in the age group of 5-16 years in the districts of Chitrakoot, Banda and Hamirpur.

During searches, the CBI had recovered eight mobile phones, around Rs eight lakh cash, sex toys, laptop and other digital evidence carrying a huge amount of child sexual abuse material, agency officials had said earlier.

The junior engineer had been indulging in the crime for the last 10 years, mainly contacting and sharing child sexual abuse material with other paedophiles globally using the darknet and cloud services abroad, they said.

He is understood to have told the investigators that he used to bribe children with mobile phones and other electronic gadgets to keep their mouth shut about his activities. PTI CORR ABN RAX RAX