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Court refuses to stay ongoing Sulli deals case investigation

Court refuses to stay ongoing Sulli deals case investigation

NEW DELHI: The investigation into various FIRs filed against Aumkareshwar Thakur, the alleged developer of the "Sulli Deals" apps, which were allegedly used to conduct an online auction of several Muslim women, was refused to be stayed by the Supreme Court on Friday.

However, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M. M. Sundresh agreed to consider his request for the clubbing of FIRs and gave notice of his writ petition to the states of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, and others, NIE reported.

The Delhi Police filed an FIR in July 2021 alleging that a programme called "Sulli deal of the day" was built on the hosting platform "Github" where images of many Muslim women were uploaded without their consent, ostensibly for online auction.

The Delhi Police later filed another FIR in January of this year in relation to the "Bullibai" mobile application (app), alleging that the content was intended to offend Muslim women.

A bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh stated orally during the hearing that there are several offences due to the serial uploads and the aggrieved parties are the people whose images were uploaded.

The bench gave notice to the plea and scheduled a hearing for three weeks later after stating that it would not halt any investigation into these FIRs.

Thakur claimed that numerous FIRs and complaints because of creating the Sulli deals app had been made against him in other states in connection with the same occurrence in his petition, said senior counsel Rajeev Sharma.

"The relief sought in the present writ petition is in terms of the judgment passed by this court in 'TT Antony vs State of Kerala'.for quashing all the same or similar FIRs except the first one and that a single investigation may be proceeded with," said the petition.

Alternately, the petitioner has asked that all subsequent FIRs be combined with the initial FIR that the Delhi Police filed in July of last year.

"It is submitted that the successive registration of FIRs in Delhi, UP and Maharashtra is beyond the purview of sections 154 and 156 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) and is a case which exhibits abuse of statutory power of investigation by different investigating agencies," the plea said.

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