Delhi HC allows minor wrestler to withdraw plea of sexual harassment allegation against Brij Bhushan

The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed a minor wrestler, who is one among the seven female grapplers who have accused outgoing BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment, to withdraw a plea relating to hearing of the matter by a competent court.

The minor wrestler’s lawyer submitted before Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma that in view of the cancellation report filed by Delhi Police before the trial court, the plea in the high court has become infructuous.

“The petitioner’s counsel states that since a cancellation report has been filed by the Delhi Police before the trial court, he does not wish to pursue it. The petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” the high court said.

On May 30, the high court issued notices to its Registrar General, the Delhi government and the police in order to decide which court shall hear the plea of the minor wrestler.

The issue arose as the cases related to sexual offences against minors have to be heard by a special court set up under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Patiala House Court is the jurisdictional court for hearing POCSO cases.

However, the cases involving legislators are heard by a special MP/MLA court which is in the premises of Rouse Avenue Court.

The women wrestlers have filed a plea before a trial court seeking monitoring of the investigation and recording of the statement of the alleged victims before the court. A similar plea was also filed by the minor wrestler.

An additional chief metropolitan magistrate had issued notices on the plea by the wrestlers who are above 18 years of age.

A sessions judge referred the minor’s case to the high court to decide the issue.

On Friday, Justice Sharma also noted in the order that in terms of its earlier order, the registrar general of the high court has filed an affidavit stating that the matter is already taken up with the Delhi government by the high court.

The affidavit further said that action on the part of the Delhi government is still awaited.

An officer of the Department of Women and Child Development told the high court that appropriate notification shall be issued within a week.

The police had earlier informed the trial court that a Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the allegations against Singh.

It had told the trial court that statements of all seven victims were recorded under Section 164 CrPC before a magistrate.

The wrestlers, who were protesting at Jantar Mantar before they were detained by police and removed from the protest site, have been demanding the arrest of Singh, accusing him of sexually exploiting several women grapplers including the minor.

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The Delhi Police have filed two FIRs, including one under section 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault) of POCSO Act against the BJP MP, who has denied all the charges.

The trial court has sought response from the ‘victim’ and the complainant on the final report filed by police seeking cancellation of the case against Singh for alleged sexual harassment to the minor wrestler.

On Friday, the trial court summoned Singh in the alleged sexual harassment case of women wrestlers and said there was sufficient evidence to proceed against the accused and directed him to appear before it on July 18.

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