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Smriti Irani camera shocker: Four Fabindia officials granted bail by Mapusa court

Panaji: The Goa Police Crime Branch, Saturday, is likely to summon top Fabindia officials, including its managing director William Bissell, a day after Union Minister Smriti Irani raised an alarm after she spotted a hidden camera at the upmarket boutique chain at Candolim that was pointed towards the trial room she used while trying out some clothes. Four employees of the fashion boutique chain's outlet in Goa were arrested for allegedly setting up a CCTV camera which overlooked the store's changing room. Rejecting Goa Crime branch's application for their custody, the bail was been granted to the store's officials by a local court. Meanwhile, Fabindia's Candolim store manager has moved Goa court for anticipatory bail in hidden camera episode. Smriti Irani spots camera in Goa's FabIndia trial room; 4 arrested, store sealed Fabindia store worker in Kolhapur held for filming woman Fabindia apologises to Irani, but denies installing spycams "We will be questioning all the top officials," Superintendent of Police (Crime) Kartik Kashyap had said late on Friday. A police official familiar with the investigation of the case said questioning of senior functionaries was necessary to understand the CCTV protocol followed in Fabindia stores and security systems, which were in place at the fashion and fabric company, which has outlets across the country. The four arrested people have been identified as Karim Lakhani, Prashant Naik, Raju Panche and Paresh Bhagat. They have been booked under Sections 354 C (voyeurism), 509 (intrusion into privacy) and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act. After spotting the camera, Irani called BJP MLA Michael Lobo. The HRD Minister along with her businessman husband Zubin Irani are on a private visit to Goa. Irani came across the camera when she was in the showroom to buy clothes and immediately protested, alerting her husband, said Superintendent of Police (North) Umesh Gaonkar. She then called Lobo, who lodged an First Information Report (FIR). Fabindia is a Rs 1,000-crore homegrown lifestyle brand better known for ethnic wear. Gaonkar said objectionable images were seen from the recordings of the hidden camera that was seized by police. Related Videos Smriti Irani spots hidden camera in Goa Fabindia's trial room Footage from the camera, installed four months ago according to staff at the store, was being recorded in a computer in the manager's office, Lobo said, adding that it held many recordings of people changing in the trial room. "When we went through the hard disk and computer to check the recordings we saw everything. All things were getting recorded over there when anybody was changing clothes. From the level of stomach till above everything was getting recorded," he said, adding, "This is mischief... Somebody has been watching the recording." Police have already sealed the shop and is inspecting the showroom. The CCTV camera was installed on a wall, against a foot-high ventilation gap on the side of the trial room cubicle. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who is in Bengaluru for the BJP National Executive meet, said stringent action will be taken against the guilty persons. In a statement, Fabindia said it is "deeply concerned and shocked at this allegation. We are in the process of investigating this internally and will be cooperating fully with the police". Bissell said there are security cameras in all the stores but they are not in trial rooms. "They cannot see what is happening inside the trial room," he said. Bissel said his staff was not able to detect any of what Lobo had said of images inside the trial room and they have to be verified. "The cameras are routinely placed in places where shoplifting can occur".

Updated : 5 April 2015 6:39 AM GMT
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