“Prolonged incarceration would be detrimental to his overall well being,” Delhi’s Patiala House Court observed while granting bail to the main accused in the Bulli Bai case (Neeraj Bishnoi) and Sulli Deals case (Aumkareshwar Thakur) on March 29, according to a LiveLaw report. The apps had led to an uproar for putting several Muslim women up for a fake online auction and thus, subjecting them to harassment and distress.
In the Bulli Bai case, the court reportedly said:
“Merely because replies from different intermediaries and FSL is awaited, same is not sufficient reason to deny bail to the accused as accused is not position to influence FSL result or replies… Accused has roots in the society community and he is not a flight risk. The trial would take considerable time to save as such no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping him detained any further.”
Meanwhile, in the Sulli Deals case, the court noted that since the accused was already suspended from his college, any longer imprisonment would be detrimental to his career and well-being.
According to LiveLaw, the court also observed:
“As per the facts, the forensic examination of laptop and mobilephone of the accused has been completed and evidence has been collected by the Investigating Officer. The ground for opposing the bail application taken by the prosecution is that investigation is on going, the said plea is vague and not sufficient to deny bail in the absence of cogent ground.”
In August 2021, hundreds of Muslim women found themselves being put up for auction on an app called Sulli Deals. While there was widespread outrage, police action only came after January 2022 after another app called Bulli Bai emerged with similar intent.
Cases filed against those involved in the two apps
While in the Bulli Bai case, the main accused was arrested on January 9, the Sulli Deals main accused was arrested on January 6.
The FIR against the alleged creator of the Sulli Deals app was filed under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
Meanwhile, an FIR against the alleged creators of the Bulli Bai app was filed with the Delhi police under IPC:
- Section 153 A – Promoting enmity between different religious groups
- Section 153 B – Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration
- Section 354 (A) – Assault of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
- Section 509 – Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman
Several FIRs were also filed with the Uttar Pradesh Police, Mumbai Police, Cyberabad Police, and Hyderabad Police. The Delhi and Mumbai Police filed chargesheets based on their investigations, earlier this month.
“I have not heard back on anything from the police and secondly, it is the UP Police so I have no hope. I have no expectations other than for them to be arrested,” one of the victims who had filed an FIR with the UP Police told MediaNama last month.
- ICLU sends notice to Twitter over circulation of ‘Sulli Deals’ content
- FIR filed against ‘Sulli Deals’ app after Muslim women harassed online
- No progress on Sulli Deals matter ‘painful’: MP Priyanka Chaturvedi in letter to IT Minister
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