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"First Time Offender, Prolonged Incarceration Detrimental To Well Being": Delhi Court Grants Bail To Accused In 'Sulli Deals' App Case

Nupur Thapliyal
29 March 2022 4:38 AM GMT
First Time Offender, Prolonged Incarceration Detrimental To Well Being: Delhi Court Grants Bail To Accused In Sulli Deals App Case
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A Delhi Court on Monday granted bail to Aumkareshwar Thakur, accused of creating the 'Sulli Deals' app on GitHub, observing that he is a first time offender and that prolonged incarceration would be detrimental to his overall well being.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma of Patiala House Court granted bail to Thakur after noting that the investigation in the matter...

A Delhi Court on Monday granted bail to Aumkareshwar Thakur, accused of creating the 'Sulli Deals' app on GitHub, observing that he is a first time offender and that prolonged incarceration would be detrimental to his overall well being.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma of Patiala House Court granted bail to Thakur after noting that the investigation in the matter was completed as that the chargesheet was filed earlier this month. 

"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," the Court said.

Furthermore, the Judge added that the necessity for continued incarceration was not made out in the backdrop of filing of the chargesheet.

"Accused is a first time offender and a young person as such prolonged incarceration would be detrimental to his overall well being. 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," the Court ordered.

Additionally, bail has also been granted to 21 year old Neeraj Bishnoi who is alleged to be the conspirator and creator of the Bulli Bai App on GitHub.

The Court noted that Bishnoi was languishing in judicial custody  since 06.01.2022 and that the investigation in the case was complete.

"As per the facts, the forensic examination of laptop and mobilephone of the accused has been completed and evidence has been collected by the IO. 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 grounds. The examination of other witnesses relating to the crime and collection of any other evidence can continue. without accused being in custody. The apprehension of prosecution regarding tampering of evidence and committing similar offence can be addressed by resorting to strict conditions of bail," the Court said. 

It added "The accused is involved in other cases of similar nature is not enough to deny him bail as all such cases were registered during contemporary period. The necessity for continued incarceration is not made out in the backdrop of filing of charge sheet. Accused is a first time offender and a young person of 20 years having already been suspended from college as such prolonged incarceration would be detrimental to his overall well being and career."

Both Bishnoi and Thakur were denied bail by a city Court earlier.

Thakur was reportedly arrested by Delhi Police after Neeraj Bishnoi, alleged to be the creator of Bulli Bail app was questioned by the Police.

It was the case of the prosecution that on the basis of the investigation conducted so far, Thakur was a member of Trad Mahasabha and created logic of the App namely "Sulli Deals" on GitHub. He and other persons had then posted pictures of various Muslim women for online auction.

Bishnoi is a resident of Assam's Jorhat area and is a student pursuing B. Tech from Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal.

The Bulli Bai App is similar to the 'Sulli Deals' which also resulted in a controversy last year by offering 'sullis', a derogatory word trolls would use for Muslim women. GitHub was also the host for that App.

The FIR was registered against relevant handles and the developer of Bulli Bai for offences under Sections 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion etc), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 295A (insulting religious beliefs), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 500 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act.

The case came to the fore after innumerable prominent Muslim women found themselves up for auction on the App hosted by GitHub. Many women found that their doctored images were put up on the App for "auction."

The women included prominent journalists, social activists and lawyers.

According to an NDTV report, the lady was handling three accounts in the Bulli Bai App. Jha opened an account called Khalsa Supremacist, apparently to make it look like this was a Khalistani attack. Then, on December 31, he changed the names of the accounts to make them sound like they allegedly belonged to a particular community.

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