(Eds: Adds details from court hearing) Mumbai, Jan 10 (PTI) A Mumbai court on Monday extended till January 14 the police custody of Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawal, arrested from Uttarakhand in connection with the case pertaining to the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, which targeted Muslim women by putting up their images online for ‘auction’.
Besides, the court remanded another accused, Vishal Kumar Jha, who was the first to be arrested in the case from Bengaluru, to judicial custody till January 24 as he had tested positive for coronavirus.
The court was informed by the city police’s cyber cell that Jha tested positive for the coronavirus on January 9 following which he has been sent to the suburban Kalina quarantine centre of the BMC.
When the court remanded Jha to judicial custody, his advocates Aarti Deshmukh and Shivam Deshmukh filed an application seeking bail. In the bail plea, Jha said he was falsely implicated in the case and denied committing any offence as alleged by the police.
The police on Monday sought further custody of Singh (18) and Rawal (21) and told the Bandra metropolitan magistrate that the probe into the case was at a crucial stage and, hence, the interrogation of the accused was required.
The police also told court Jha should be remanded to police custody once his quarantine period is over. In its note to the court, the police said Jha’s custody was required as investigation with regard to the numerous social media accounts and Proton mail was pending.
The magistrate then directed Jha’s advocates to file their reply to the police’s note and said it would hear Jha’s bail plea and the police’s note on January 13.
Jha, in his bail application said, he hails from a respectable family and the police’s claim that he committed an offence as is alleged in the present case was beyond imagination.
“It is not the case of the complainant and it has not been revealed in the investigation that the present applicant was a user of any of the Twitter accounts such as @bullibai, @sageox11 and others or is a creator of the same,” the bail plea said.
Jha is accused of being a user of another Twitter account by name ‘@khalsasupremecist’ but the police have failed to make out a case that the said account has been used to malign the image of any woman, it added.
The bail plea contended that Jha did not know any of the other accused arrested in the case.
Singh and Rawal were arrested by the Mumbai police’s cyber cell from Uttarakhand on January 5, while Jha was arrested from Bengaluru on January 4.
The police had earlier claimed Singh was the prime accused and had created a Twitter handle of the app.
The Delhi police’s special cell, which has also registered an FIR in the case, on January 6 arrested one Niraj Bishnoi from Assam. According to the police, Bishnoi was the main creator of the app. PTI SP GK BNM BNM BNM
source: PTI News