‘Probe at a nascent stage and evidence yet to be unearthed’
Noting that the impact of the alleged acts on society “cannot be reduced to negligible” when compared to other offences with harsher punishment, a Delhi court on Saturday dismissed the bail plea moved by the alleged creator of Sulli Deals, Aumkareshwar Thakur.
Metropolitan Magistrate Vasundhra Chhaunkar, in her order, observed that the court cannot ignore the peculiar facts of the case, “which reflect upon the severity and gravity of the alleged acts of the accused”.
“The accused had consciously used Tor Browser so that his identity could not be disclosed and various complaints have been received against Sulli deals app, which are pending across India,” Ms. Chhaunkar noted.
While dismissing the bail, the court further observed that the investigation was at a nascent stage where crucial evidence and the further chain of events are yet to be conclusively unearthed. “Granting bail to the accused at this juncture will prejudice a fair probe,” the court said.
During the course of proceedings, the counsel for Thakur argued that the Section 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste etc.) cannot be invoked against his client’s case. “In the present case, there is no existence of two groups and there is a stray reference to the attempt made to target woman of a particular community.”
The counsel further argued that the “police was working under pressure of media and society” as a lot of public sentiments were involved in the matter.
“Prima facie, at this stage the arguments of the counsel for the accused do not hold water as certainly the women of Muslim community only have been targeted by posting their pictures for auction,” the court said.
Earlier, alleged Bulli Bai creator Niraj Bishnoi’s bail plea was rejected by a Delhi court. The Bulli Bai application had recently posted photographs of several Muslim women online and “auctioned them off”.
Thakur’s Sulli Deals came to the fore six months ago, which used the same modus operandi of “auctioning off” Muslim women online and FIRs for which were lodged both in Delhi and Noida.
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