Last Updated: October 22, 2023, 19:08 IST
Former WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Saturday claimed that there were contradictions in the statements of prosecution witnesses, and urging a Delhi court to discharge him in a sexual harassment case lodged by six female wrestlers.
The judge granted exemption from personal appearance for the day to Singh on an application moved by his lawyer. The defence argued that the statements made before the oversight committee and the statements recorded under section 164 CrPC have material contradictions and that “the statements made later in time (under section 164) have material improvements and, therefore, are liable to be rejected in toto”.
“Since there are material contradictions in the statements of the prosecution witnesses, that itself calls for discharge of the accused as the contradictions have the effect of taking the case away from the arena of grave suspicion, towards only mere suspicion,” the counsel said.
Represented by advocate Rajeev Mohan, Singh also claimed that as per the law, the oversight committee formed to look into the case had to recommend the registration of FIR within seven days. But “since in the matter at hand, no such recommendation has been made, it is safe to assume that the oversight committee did not find a prima facie case against accused”, he said.
“Since no prima facie case was found out by the oversight committee, and since no case was found out, no FIR was registered, and since no FIR was registered, it automatically amounts to exoneration,” the counsel told the court.
The argument was opposed by the public prosecutor, who said the constitution of the oversight committee was not in accordance with law. “There is no question of exoneration because no recommendations/findings have been given by the said committee,” the prosecutor said.
The judge posted further hearing in the matter to October 30.
Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet in the case against Singh, a six-time MP, 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 police had also charged Vinod Tomar, the suspended assistant secretary of the WFI, in the case.
(With PTI inputs)