Defaming womanhood serious offence, says magistrate court while denying bail to trio in ‘Bulli Bai’ case

The court had on Thursday rejected the bail pleas of Uttarkhand residents Shweta Singh, Mayank Rawat, and Vishal Kumar Jha from Bihar.
The three accused had filed for bail on the ground that they were not creators of the application. (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
The three accused had filed for bail on the ground that they were not creators of the application. (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Published on Jan 21, 2022 08:57 PM IST
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ByVinay Dalvi

Mumbai Defaming womanhood is a serious crime, the metropolitan magistrate court at Bandra had observed on Thursday while rejecting bail applications filed by three accused arrested in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case.

The court had on Thursday rejected the bail pleas of Uttarkhand residents Shweta Singh, Mayank Rawat, and Vishal Kumar Jha from Bihar. The detailed order passed by metropolitan magistrate Komal Singh Rajput became available on Friday.

“The allegations against the accused are serious and need thorough investigation,” the court said while rejecting their bail pleas.

The three accused had filed for bail through their counsels Shivam Deshmukh, Aarti Deshmukh and Sandeep Sherkhane on the ground that they were not creators of the application. The trio claimed that they were innocent and falsely implicated in the case.

“In the backdrop of these allegations, if we peruse the record of investigation, prima-facie involvement of the accused is noticed. The disputed fact is only in respect of the exact role played by them; their involvement is not in serious dispute. It is contended on behalf of the applicant that they are just followers and disseminated the information containing its link. Even if it is presumed as argued by them that they are not creators of the application ‘Bulli Bai’ and just followers at this stage it cannot be said they are innocent,” the court observed.

The court noted that the trio was in touch with the prime accused Niraj Bishnoi, who was first arrested by the Delhi police and is now in Mumbai Police custody.

“Merely because the role is different on technical aspects, it cannot be said that the accused persons are innocent. If applicants are released at this stage before interrogation of creators of the application there is a possibility of tampering with the investigation as well as consequent tampering of the progress of the process of collection of evidence,” said the court.

“No doubt the accused are of tender age and they have a fundamental right to life and liberty. But those rights are subjected to reasonable restrictions. They were found to be committing serious acts defaming womanhood. The larger interest of society is at stake,” the court added.

The court said the content of the FIR and the record of investigation reflect that the application ‘Bulli Bai’ was created on an online platform and circulated widely.

It is shown to be created and followed by people belonging to a particular community, containing data defaming various women from other communities. However, the creators and the followers of the app do not belong to a religion, to which they are shown to belong in the ‘Bulli Bai’ bai.

“Thus, there is some ill-intention on the part of the creators and followers of the app and the persons propagating it and disseminating the information about women of a particular religion. Thus, the allegations are serious and need thorough investigation,” the court said.

The investigation officer had opposed the bail applications and said that investigation is going on and is still incomplete.

“Prima-facie the contents of those applications appear to be uploaded with a view of creating enmity among religions. It has a connection with a previous app named ‘Sulli Deals’,” the officer contended.

Mumbai Police is investigating the app hosted on the code-sharing platform GitHub. The app was named after derogatory references to the Muslim community. Hundreds of Muslim women, including vocal activists and top professionals, were listed for “auction” along with their photographs sourced without permission and doctored.

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