A Delhi court dismissed the bail application of Neeraj Bishnoi saying his offence was not only against the essence of womanhood but was also designed to disturb communal harmony.

Neeraj Bishnoi's arrest: ‘Bulli Bai’ app's alleged creator Neeraj Bishnoi denied bail by Delhi courtFile Photo/PTI
news 'Bulli Bai' App Sunday, January 30, 2022 - 18:05

A Delhi court has dismissed the bail application of Neeraj Bishnoi, the alleged creator of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, saying his offence was not only against the essence of womanhood but was also designed to disturb communal harmony. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana denied the relief to the accused on January 29, noting that the allegations against him were serious in nature and the investigation was at a nascent stage.

Several complaints were received by police stations in the country regarding the listing of Muslim women for "auction" on the 'Bulli Bai' mobile application with photographs sourced without permission and doctored. It has happened for the second time in less than a year. The app appeared to be a clone of 'Sulli Deals' which triggered a similar row last year. The judge passed the order after hearing arguments of the accused as well as the prosecution.

The sardonic conduct of the applicant accused in targeting women journalists of a particular community, using offensive monikers with derogatory communal overtones, on a social platform is not only an offence against the essence of womanhood but also an act designed to enrage passion and cause ill will amongst communities and disturb communal harmony, the judge said in the order.

The accused had sought bail on the ground that the investigation against him was already complete and no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping him behind bars. He had submitted that he is an engineering student and has no criminal antecedents.

Read: ‘Bulli Bai’ is a direct result of the state’s inaction on ‘Sulli Deals’ & Islamophobia

The prosecution had opposed the bail application arguing that in the present case, doctored photographs of the complainant, a journalist, were shared on Twitter handle @bullibai through a web app. It submitted that the accused created a web app Bullibai on Github website/portal platform by using Proton VPN to hide his identity.

It further submitted that after the arrest of the accused, his laptop and mobile phone were analysed and various incriminating material have been recovered including many lewd comments and derogatory remarks on the doctored photographs of victims in Bullibai web app using Twitter handles @wannabesigmaf and @bullibai.

The Delhi police had further submitted that the investigation was at a nascent stage and if the accused was released on bail, he may attempt to influence the fair course of the investigation. The probe agency had told the court that the accused used his Twitter handle to target women of a particular community.

It told the court that the contents of Bishnoi's Twitter handles were derogatory as he and others were using words like 'Suli' and 'Buli' for the women of a particular community.

Bishnoi, a 21-year-old engineering student, is said to be the main conspirator and creator of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app on GitHub and the main Twitter account holder of the app. He was arrested by Delhi Police's Special Cell from Assam's Jorhat on January 5, 2022. An engineering student from Bengaluru, a young girl from Uttarakhand and one of her friends have also been arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with the 'Bulli Bai' app case.

The Delhi Police had registered a separate case based on the complaint of a journalist for offences under Sections 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion etc), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 354A (sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.

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