Delhi court to pass order on cognisance of charge sheet against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Jul 1

 A Delhi court said on Tuesday it will pass an order on July 1 on whether to take cognisance of the charge sheet filed against BJP MP and outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in a case of alleged sexual harassment of six women wrestlers.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal adjourned the matter after a brief hearing.

“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 dismissed an application filed earlier on behalf of the grapplers seeking a court-monitored probe, terming it “infructuous”.

“Since in the present matter the charge sheet has already been filed, the application seeking monitoring becomes infructuous,” the judge said.

The city police had filed a charge sheet 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 charge sheet had also named Vinod Tomar, the suspended assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (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.

Besides the present case, another FIR was filed against Singh pursuant to the allegations made by a minor wrestler which was registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) 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.

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In a startling admission, the father of the minor wrestler had told 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.

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