The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay proceedings on multiple cases filed against Aumkareshwar Thakur, the alleged creator of an app called “Sulli Deals” on which Muslim women were put for “online auction” last year, Live Law reported.
“Sulli” is a derogatory way to refer to Muslim women.
Thakur had moved the Supreme Court seeking to have multiple first information reports filed against him clubbed together. FIRs in connection to the case have been filed in Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The “Sulli Deals” app was called out on social media after it targeted Muslim women in July last year.
The Delhi Police had filed a first information report on the matter but had made no arrest in the subsequent six months. The police sprung to action only after a similar app called “Bulli Bai” – another derogatory term used to target Muslim women – emerged on January 1, 2022.
Thakur was arrested on January 9 by the Delhi Police from Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city. He was the first person to be arrested in the case. He was granted bail on March 29 by a Delhi court and on June 21 by a court in Mumbai.
During the hearing on Friday, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh, orally observed that each woman is an aggrieved person who can file complaints separately, Live Law reported.
“There are two websites. One is Sulli Deals and the other is Bulli Bai,” the bench said. “Can that be said to be conjoint? There are multiple uploads. Each person would have filed independently.”
It added: “Can it be called the same offence? All of the FIRs are different as there have been multiple uploads.”
The bench then issued notices to the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and directed them to file their responses to Thakur’s plea.
However, as the bench was doing so, the counsel representing Thakur urged the court to stay proceedings against his client.
To this, the bench said: “Only notice now. We have our doubts.”