Delhi Court Adjourns Hearing in Sexual Harassment Case Against WFI Chief

The Delhi court defers the charge sheet against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in a case of alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers.
Delhi Court Adjourns Hearing in Sexual Harassment Case Against WFI Chief

NEW DELHI: Delhi's Rouse Avenue court has postponed the hearing of the charge sheet filed against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP and outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, in a case involving the alleged sexual harassment of six women wrestlers. The court session held today ended with Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal adjourning the matter.

The ACMM stated, "A fresh charge sheet has been filed. Let it be checked. Since it's a lengthy chargesheet, we will keep it for consideration after a couple of days," and scheduled the next hearing for July 1. During the proceedings, the judge dismissed a previous request for a court-monitored investigation made on behalf of the wrestlers, deeming it "infructuous." The judge explained, "Since the charge sheet has already been filed in this case, the application seeking monitoring becomes infructuous."

On June 15, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against Singh 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 Indian Penal Code (IPC). The charge sheet also named Vinod Tomar, the suspended assistant secretary of WFI, for offenses under sections 109 (abetment of any offense, 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.

Additionally, another FIR was lodged against Brij Bhushan Singh based on allegations made by a minor wrestler, which falls under the purview of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. This FIR was filed in addition to the ongoing case and will be reviewed by a POCSO court on July 4. The allegations in both FIRs describe various instances of sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching, groping, stalking, and intimidation, spanning over a decade.

Regarding the case involving the minor wrestler, the Delhi Police submitted a final report on June 15, seeking the cancellation of the FIR related to the sexual harassment accusation against Singh. A cancellation report is filed when the police fail to find corroborative evidence after conducting a thorough investigation. The POCSO court is expected to review the cancellation report on July 4.

In a surprising revelation, the father of the minor wrestler confessed to the media that he and his daughter had filed a "false" police complaint of sexual harassment against Singh as a means of seeking retribution for perceived injustices against the girl. Singh has been questioned by the police twice and consistently denied all the allegations, asserting that he was "framed."

The cause of the women wrestlers has garnered support from esteemed athletes like Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, as well as Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat. The protest initiated by these prominent wrestlers has received backing from various opposition parties and farmer organizations.


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