A Mumbai court on Thursday rejected the bail pleas of three accused persons in a case related to the “Bulli Bai” app on which more than 100 prominent Muslim women were listed for an “online auction”, reported Live Law.

Vishal Jha, Mayank Rawat and Shweta Singh had filed the bail petitions on January 14 after they were sentenced to 14 days of judicial custody. Magistrate Komal Singh Rajput had reserved the verdict on the pleas on January 18.

In their bail petitions, Jha, Singh and Rawat had argued that they had been falsely implicated in the case, reported Bar and Bench. They claimed that they had not committed any offence and had no criminal history.

They also claimed that they had not created any mobile applications and were not connected to the other accused persons in the case.

During a previous hearing on January 14, the prosecution alleged that Niraj Bishnoi, who is accused of being the main conspirator in the case, had alerted the other accused persons after which they deleted their Twitter handles.

Bishnoi and the three others have been accused of taking photos of the Muslim women from their social media accounts without permission and displayed them on the app for “sale” as “Bulli Bai” of the day. “Bulli” is a derogatory way to refer to Muslim women.

The counsels for Jha, Singh and Rawat said that their clients have submitted all details regarding their email and social media accounts. They also pointed out that Jha and Rawat were presently in a quarantine facility as they have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Mumbai Police have opposed the bail applications.

On Monday, the Mumbai Police told the court that three accused persons had intentionally used fake Sikh names to create enmity between Sikhs and Muslims. The police also told the court that as per preliminary investigation, the three accused were also involved with the “Sulli Deals” app, which was used to target Muslim women last year.

The police had also said that the accused person might abscond and were likely to destroy evidence or intimidate witnesses if released on bail. They also cited that Bishnoi’s bail application has been rejected too.

The police said the custody of the accused persons was required for further probe into the case.

The Mumbai Police had arrested Jha, Singh and Rawat after some women filed a complaint with the Cyber Cell earlier this month. While Jha is a student in Bengaluru, Singh and Rawat were arrested in Uttarakhand.

‘Online auction’ of women

The “Bulli Bai” app was the second attempt in recent months to harass Muslim women in the country by “auctioning” them online.

In July, an app called “Sulli Deals” had posted hundreds of images of Muslim women and described them as “deals of the day”.

The police in Noida and Delhi had registered separate cases in connection with the “Sulli Deals” app but had made no arrests till the “Bulli Bai” matter came to the fore earlier in January.

On January 9, the Delhi Police arrested Aumkareshwar Thakur, who allegedly created the “Sulli Deals” app. He is the first person to be arrested in the case.