Delhi Police Conclude Arguments on Charges Against Former WFI Chief Brij Bhushan

The police claimed that there is sufficient prima facie evidence to proceed with trial against #BrijBhushan

2 min read

The Delhi Police has concluded its arguments on framing charges against BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in an alleged sexual harassment case by six women wrestlers.

The arguments by police resumed before the Rouse Avenue Court's Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Priyanka Rajpoot, who started the fresh hearing on Thursday after the transfer of ACMM Harjeet Singh Jaspal who had previously presided over the case.

The Delhi Police contended that incidents of alleged sexual harassment, whether occurring overseas or within the country, were interconnected and part of the same transaction. Hence, the police said that the court had jurisdiction to hear the case.

The BJP MP had earlier questioned the jurisdiction of Delhi court claiming that there was no action or consequence which happened in India.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava, representing the Delhi Police, argued that under Section 354 of the IPC, the case is not time-barred, as it carries a maximum punishment of five years.

Addressing the issue of delay in filing complaints, Srivastava brought up issue of fear among the women wrestlers, saying that wrestling held immense significance in their lives, and they were hesitant to come forward due to concerns about jeopardising their careers.

The prosecution argued that Brij Bhushan's defence, claiming his actions were fatherly, demonstrated awareness of his acts.

The accused's justification that he was checking breathing patterns contradicted the victims' statements about inappropriate touching.

The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on January 20 and 23, where the counsel for the complainants will present their submissions.

On Thursday, the police had claimed that there is sufficient prima facie evidence to proceed with trial against Singh and co-accused Vinod Tomar, suspended Assistant Secretary of the WFI.

The prosecution has earlier said that the act of sexual harassment of the victims was a continuing offence, as it did not stop at any particular time.

Delhi Police had also told the court that Singh never missed an opportunity to "sexually harass" women wrestlers, adding that there is sufficient evidence to frame charges against him and proceed with the trial.

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