A court in Mumbai denied bail to three students arrested in the Bulli Bai app case by stating that the trio had committed serious acts of "defaming womanhood" and, therefore, in the larger interest of society the personal liberty of the accused can be curtailed.
The Bulli Bai app had made public the details of several Muslim women in a bid to malign them, allowing users to participate in their 'auction'.
Vishal Kumar Jha, Shweta Singh and Mayak Rawat were denied bail by Bandra Metropolitan Court Magistrate Komalsing Raj on January 20, but a detailed cop of the order was made available on Friday.
While Singh and Rawat were arrested by the Mumbai police's cyber cell from Uttarakhand on January 5, Jha was nabbed from Bengaluru on January 4.
"No doubt accused persons are students of tender age and they have fundamental right to life and liberty, but those rights are subject to reasonable restrictions. They were arrested for collection of evidence relating to non-bailable offence and, hence, their arrest is not in violation of any law," the magistrate said in the order.
"They were found to have committed serious acts defaming womanhood. The larger interest of society is at stake. Therefore, their personal liberty can be said to be curtailed following due process of law," the magistrate said.
The court also noted there was "some ill-intention" on part of the creator and followers of the app as well as persons propagating and disseminating information about women of a particular religion.
Stating that, prima facie, the involvement in of the accused is noticed, the court said, "The disputed fact is only in respect of exact role played by them. It is contended on behalf of the applicants that they are just followers and disseminated the information containing its link. Even if it is presumed they are just followers/subscribers of the application, at this stage it cannot be said they are innocent." The court further said records showed their "active involvement" in propagating and disseminating the information/data relating to the women.
Meanwhile, accused Vishal Kumar Jha has moved sessions court for bail, and his plea is likely to be heard on Monday.
In the bail application, moved through his lawyer Shivam Deshmukh, the accused claimed he had been "falsely implicated in this case".
"The accused hails from a respectable family having deep roots in the eyes of society and any such act as alleged by the present complainant is beyond imagination," Jha's plea said.