A senior Army officer has been arrested for allegedly uploading obscene photographs and video clips involving children on the Internet, nearly two months after Interpol alerted Indian authorities about the matter.
Lt Colonel Jagmohan Balbir Singh (42), hailing from Punjab and posted in the city, was nabbed from his residence in South Mumbai on Thursday evening. He was on Friday produced before a local court, which remanded him in police custody till May 12, police said.
Singh, who was staying with his wife and two children, has been booked under Section 67 (B) (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form) of Information Technology Act, they said.
A computer and two hard disks containing hundreds of obscene photographs and video clips have been seized from him, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy told PTI.
While looking for Internet-related offences, German police came across the obscene contents being uploaded on a child pornography site from Mumbai. They brought the issue before Interpol, which informed CBI in Delhi in March 2010, Roy said.
"CBI informed about it to us. We were working on this for the last four weeks and traced the Internet Protocol (IP) to Singh, who is working with the Army's Supply and Transport wing in Colaba, South Mumbai," Roy said.
"We are probing if Singh downloaded the objectionable contents from the Internet or obtained them from someone else. After getting the contents, he uploaded them on a foreign-based child pornography site. He confessed to have indulged in such act for a quite sometime now," he added.
"The children seen in the clips and photographs appear to be aged between three to nine years," Roy said.
Singh, associated with Army for the last 20 years, was posted here two years ago. "We have informed his bosses about the arrest," Roy said.
When Singh was produced in the court, his lawyer Milind Sawant argued that his client's custody was not required, as police had already seized the required evidence.
"Singh is a serving Army officer and a respectable man and would not abscond and fully cooperate with the police," Sawant said.
If the charges are proved, the Army officer may face imprisonment up to seven years and a fine up to Rs 10 lakh.
"Lt Colonel Jagmohan Singh is on study leave at Mumbai since June 2009. Details regarding his arrest are being ascertained from police authorities," Captain M Nambiar, PRO of Ministry of Defence, said.
"A bail application has been moved (in the court) so that the case can be dealt with by the Army authorities," he said.