The Supreme Court Friday issued a notice to three states on a plea to club FIRs by the alleged creator of a hate app against Muslim women, but refused to stay the investigation against him.
Issuing notices to Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, a bench presided by Justice S K Kaul wondered if it was possible to grant relief to the accused, BCA graduate Aumkareshwar Thakur, given that he has been charged for different offences for distinct acts.
Pointing out that each FIR is different as there are multiple uploads, Justice Kaul said: “…that is not the same offence. There are two websites… Can that be said to be conjoint? Each woman whose photo was uploaded is an aggrieved party and would have filed independently. Can that be termed as one offence?”
“You are saying in respect of each website there are different proceedings. Can you say whatever uploaded is confined to one place,” the bench asked Thakur’s counsel.
As the counsel sought a stay on the investigation, the court said: “Only notice now. We have our doubts.”
In July 2021, some Muslim women were listed for “auction” on an app created on content sharing platform GitHub. Their photographs were sourced without permission and allegedly doctored. Thakur is accused of creating the app.
On March 28, a Delhi court granted him bail. It said: “(The) 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 society community and he is not a flight risk. The trial would take considerable time to save as such no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping him detained any further.”