Omkareshwar Thakur, the creator of Sulli deals app has been granted bail. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dr Pankaj Sharma observed that he was a first time offender, whose long incarceration could prove detrimental to his well-being.
According to a report by the Hindu, Neeraj Bishnoi, too, was granted bail by the Patiala House court on Monday.
Thakur was arrested on the basis of the disclosure statement of co-accused Niraj Bishnoi.
“Accused is a first time offender and a young person as such prolonged incarceration would be detrimental to his overall well-being. Accused has roots in the community and he is not a flight risk. The trial would take considerable time to conclude as such no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping him detained any further,” the order held.
Sulli Deals, hosted on GitHub, was an app that staged ‘auctions’ for Muslim women by using doctored images of them without their consent, accompanied with derogatory remarks
According to Bar & Bench, the defence counsel argued that other than the concocted and fabricated disclosure statements that have no evidentiary value, there is no material on record that by any stretch of imagination even remotely exhibit a prima facie case against the applicant with respect to the alleged offences, in particular Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code.
The prosecution opposed his bail plea saying the investigation was on and forensic reports besides responses from intermediaries in the case were awaited. It was feared that he may threaten the witnesses and tamper with the evidence.
The Court, however, held the pending forensic reports and replies were not sufficient grounds to deny bail to Thakur, who had been in judicial custody since January 9, 2022.
The Court, thus, allowed bail on a surety bond of ₹50,000 on the condition that he shall not influence or contact any of the survivors. Thakur was ordered to provide his phone number to the investigating officer and not tamper with the evidence.
Besides, he was also directed to drop a pin on Google maps so that his location is available with the police.
Sulli Deals, hosted on GitHub, was an app that staged ‘auctions’ for Muslim women by using doctored images of them without their consent, accompanied with derogatory remarks. It had surfaced in July, 2021, and the Delhi police had registered a first information report (FIR) on July 8 that year under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 345A (sexual harassment).