HC to examine which court to hear minor wrestler’s sexual harassment plea against WFI chief

The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notices to its Registrar General, the city government and the police in order to decide which court shall hear the plea of the minor wrestler, who is among the seven female grapplers who have accused Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment.

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 wrestler who is a minor.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal had issued notices on the plea by 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 Tuesday, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma issued notices to the Registrar General, the Delhi government and Delhi Police and asked them to respond to the plea while listing it for further hearing on July 6.

Senior advocate Narender Hooda represented the minor wrestler in the matter.

The police had earlier informed the trial court that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the allegations against Singh, a BJP MP.

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 on Sunday and removed from the protest site, have been demanding the arrest of Singh, accusing him of sexually exploiting several women grapplers including the minor.

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.

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