India’s legal system may have defused a potentially irksome diplomatic situation by granting bail to Ebay-Baazee executive Avnish Bajaj after expressions of concerns “from the highest levels of the US government.”
Hours before a Delhi court freed Bajaj, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Secretary of State Powell has been following the case closely and inquired about it at the morning staff meeting of the department heads.
“I do know this situation is one of concern at the highest levels of the US Government,” Boucher said. “It’s a matter that we have been following.”
The brouhaha now appears set to fade away following the granting of bail to Bajaj, given India’s poor follow-up and prosecution mechanism.
Baazee parent company Ebay said in a statement that it was extremely pleased that has been released from custody on bail and “we applaud the Indian justice system for making this decision quickly.”
Boucher meanwhile was responding to questions from journalists more eager to know whether Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice had taken up the issue ahead of incumbent Colin Powell.
He said he did not know if Rice had personally made phone calls on the issue but maintained “any involvement would have been well coordinated with the State Department.”
“But it is a matter that we’re paying quite a bit of attention to,” he added.
The cyber community meanwhile roasted the Indian law-enforcement and legal system for hastily clapping Bajaj in prison instead of zeroing in on the primary culprits and without understanding the internet business. The incarceration brought expressions of support for Bajaj and criticism of the system from Indians worldwide.