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‘Committed crime, face it’: SC declines urgent listing of plea by Sulli Deals app accused

Supreme Court
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday February 18 declined to entertain a plea seeking urgent listing of petitions seeking clubbing of various FIRs across the country in connection with offences related to the app ‘Sulli Deal of the day’ in which scores of Muslim women were put on “sale”.

Advocate Sahil Bhaliak mentioned the plea before a bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, submitting that multiple FIRs have been filed against his client and sought urgent listing of the plea. “It is covered by T.T. Anthony’s judgment,” he said.

At this, the Chief Justice said: “If you have committed a crime. You’ll have to face it. Covered or uncovered will be decided at the date of hearing.”

The plea by accused Aumkareshwar Thakur, filed on January 24, prayed for clubbing of various FIRs filed throughout the country with respect to offences relating to the app. The petitioner is accused in 3 FIRs registered in New Delhi, Noida, and Mumbai.

The app had created a major uproar last year for targeting Muslim women and uploading their images without their consent. The ‘Bulli Bai’ case appears to be a clone of the ‘Sulli Deals’ app.

The plea said: “The relief sought in the present writ petition is in terms of the judgment passed by this court in T.T. Antony vs. State of Kerala for quashing of all the same or similar FIRs except the first onea and that a single investigation may be proceeded with. In the alternative, the petitioner prays for clubbing of all the subsequent FIRs with the first FIR, registered at PS Special Cell, Delhi.”

The plea submitted that the successive registration of FIRs in Delhi, UP and Maharashtra is beyond the purview of Section 154 and 156 of CrPC and is a case which exhibits abuse of statutory power of investigation by different investigating agencies.

The first FIR was registered on July 7, 2021, by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police under Section 354-A (3) of the IPC inter alia alleging that Github, which is a hosting platform, has created portal namely ‘Sulli Deal of the day’ on their platform and that they have uploaded hundreds of pictures of women on their platform without their consent.

“The petitioner was interrogated by the IO in connection with FIR registered at PS Sector 23 Noida, UP while he was in the custody of the Delhi police in connection with FIR No 1. The Noida police have failed to provide a copy of the FIR. After the subsequent grant of judicial custody, the petitioner was taken into custody by Mumbai police and is currently in their custody,” added the plea.

According to Delhi Police, Neeraj Bishnoi who was arrested in connection with portal ‘Bulli Bai’, disclosed petitioner’s name and alleged he was behind the creation of the portal ‘Sulli Deal of the day’. Thakur was apprehended from his residence in Indore on January 8 this year.

Police have claimed Thakur joined a group on Twitter by the name of Tradmahasabha in January 2020 using the handle @gangescion and the members had discussed about trolling Muslim women. He had developed the application on Github.

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