Wrestlers case: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court will consider the charge sheet filed against BJP MP and outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in a case of alleged sexual harassment of six women wrestlers on July 1. After the brief hearing in the case today, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal adjourned the matter.
“Fresh charge sheet filed. Let it be checked. Since it’s a lengthy chargesheet, will keep it for consideration after a couple of days,” the ACMM said and fixed the matter for July 1. During the proceedings, the judge declined an earlier request for a court-monitored investigation made on behalf of the grapplers during the hearings, calling it “infructuous.” “Since in the present matter the charge sheet has already been filed, the application seeking monitoring becomes infructuous,” the judge said.
Charge sheet against WFI chief
The Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet in the case against Singh on June 15 under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
The charge sheet had also named Vinod Tomar, the suspended assistant secretary of WFI, for offences under sections 109 (abetment of any offence, if the act abetted is committed in consequence, and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 354, 354A and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
POCSO case against Brij Bhushan Singh
Another FIR was filed against Brij Bhushan Singh in addition to the current case in response to allegations made by a minor wrestler and was registered under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. She was among the seven female grapplers who had accused Singh of sexual harassment.
Both the FIRs narrated several alleged instances of sexual harassment like inappropriate touching, groping, stalking and intimidation by Singh at different times and places over a decade.
In the minor’s case, the Delhi Police had on June 15 submitted a final report seeking cancellation of the FIR filed with regard to the allegation of sexual harassment against Singh. A cancellation report is filed in cases where police fail to find corroborative evidence after due investigation. A POCSO court will likely consider the cancellation report on July 4.
In a startling admission, the father of the minor wrestler had told news agency PTI that he and his daughter had filed a “false” police complaint of sexual harassment against Singh because they wanted to get back at him for perceived injustice against the girl. Singh has been questioned by the police twice so far, and on both occasions, he denied all the allegations against him and claimed he was “framed”.
The cause of the women wrestlers was taken up by decorated grapplers like Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, and Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat. The protest by celebrity grapplers drew support from a host of opposition parties and farmer organisations.
(With PTI inputs)