Supreme Court refuses to stay charges against alleged app creator

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to stay proceedings in several cases brought against Aumkareshwar Thakur, the alleged creator of an app called “Sulli Deals” on which Muslim women were auctioned off online last year, Live Act reported.

“Sulli” is a pejorative way of referring to Muslim women.

Thakur had asked the Supreme Court to have several first information reports filed against him. FIRs relating to the case have been filed in Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

The ‘Sulli Deals’ app has been called out on social media after targeting Muslim women in July last year.

Delhi police had filed an initial information report on the case but made no arrests in the following six months. Police only intervened after a similar app called “Bulli Bai” – another pejorative term used to target Muslim women – emerged on January 1, 2022.

Thakur was arrested on January 9 by Delhi police from the city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh. He was the first person to be arrested in this case. He was released on bail on March 29 by a Delhi court and on June 21 by a Mumbai court.

During Friday’s hearing, a bench consisting of Judges Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M. M. Sundresh, orally observed that each woman is an aggrieved person who can file complaints separately, Live Act reported.

“There are two websites. One is Sulli Deals and the other is Bulli Bai,” the bench said. “Can we say that it is joint? There are several downloads. Each person would have filed independently.

He added: “Can this be called the same offence? All FIRs are different because there have been multiple downloads.

The bench then issued notices to the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and ordered them to file their responses to Thakur’s plea.

However, as the bench did so, the lawyer representing Thakur urged the court to stay the charges against his client.

To that, the bench said, “Only notice now. We have our doubts.

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