Delhi Police conclude arguments in sexual harassment case against ex-WFI chief Brij Bhushan

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had earlier questioned the jurisdiction of a Delhi court, claiming there was no action or consequence which happened in India

Disgraced former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (photo: IANS)
Disgraced former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (photo: IANS)
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IANS

Delhi Police have concluded their 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.

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 a Delhi court, claiming that there was no action or consequence which happened in India.

Additional public prosecutor Atul Srivastava, representing 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 the issue of fear among the women wrestlers, saying that wrestling held immense significance in their lives, and they were hesitant to come forward owing 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 20 and 23 January, where the counsel for the complainants will present their submissions.

On Thursday, the police had claimed that there was sufficient prima facie evidence to proceed with a trial against Singh and co-accused and suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

The prosecution had earlier said 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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