New Delhi: Amid the “Bulli bai” app row, the Delhi High Court women lawyers Forum wrote to Chief Justice of India N.V Ramana seeking issuance of appropriate directions to the Central and state governments to secure and ensure to members of the minority communities, an atmosphere within which they can enjoy their right to life with dignity and security.
In their letter petition, highlighting the failure of the Central and state governments to secure the minority communities in India, the lawyers’ body urged for minorities’ fundamental right to life with dignity and safety guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
It has also sought to monitor the criminal investigation being conducted by Mumbai Police and ensure that the investigation is carried out into the “Sulli Deals” and “Bulli Bai” App incidences, including a probe into the sources of funding and handlers of the persons who set up the derogatory apps, money trail that financed the said App identifying the masterminds behind the surveillance of Muslim women illegally auctioned vide the app.
The letter further said like the previously illegal and derogatory app “Sulli Deals” which surfaced in July 2021, yet another app of the same kind namely “Bulli Bai” has surfaced on the web. Both are equally shameful and derogatory towards their target — Muslim women in India. By way of both these apps, the culprits have trolled and surveilled Muslim women and illegally used their photographs to put them up for auction as maids. “We believe that the “Bulli Deals” App happened because no one was punished for “Sulli Deals”.
Although FIRs had been previously registered in the matter of “Sulli Deals,” no one was arrested and the investigation has been a non-starter, in the same. The lack of action on the “Sulli Deals” case emboldened the culprits to use pictures of free-thinking women who are considered independent with dissenting voices with impunity, the plea read.
Included in the list is the spouse of a sitting Judge of a High Court ( exemplifying the sense of impunity that the culprits have that they are above the law ).
This amounts to a grave attack on the independence of the judiciary and may have a chilling effect on the ability of other Muslims to take up the position of being judges of the High Court and other courts. Already Muslims are disproportionately represented in the judiciary and this may make matters worse, it stated.
The letter also prayed that appropriate directions be issued to prevent the dehumanisation of minorities by using pejoratives, likening them to animals and germs, spreading fake news by disseminating fearful stereotypes, inciting others to harass or boycott the targeted communities, and giving calls for genocide against minority communities and strictly prohibiting the auctions of human beings like animals.
Demanding to draw up the charge sheet with all relevant sections including, if needed Section 120 IPC, the lawyers’ body also sought directions from the Supreme Court for a time-bound investigation.