'Found sufficient material...' Delhi Court frames sexual harassment charges against ex-WFI chief Brij Bhushan Saran Singh

BJP MP Singh was discharged in the allegations levelled against him by victim no. 6

BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh addresses a programme marking the completion of 9 years of BJP-led central government, in Gonda | PTI [FILE] BJP MP Brij Bhushan Saran Singh addresses a programme marking the completion of 9 years of BJP-led central government, in Gonda | PTI

A Delhi Court ordered the framing of sexual harassment charges against  BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Saran Singh on Friday. He was discharged in the allegations levelled against him by victim number 6 in the case. 

“This court has found sufficient material on record to frame charges against accused no. 1 Brij Bhushan Saran Singh for the offences under Section 354 (outraging modesty of woman) and 354A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code regarding victims no. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5,” the court order reportedly read.  It will formally frame the charges on May 21.

Charges will be framed also against Vinod Tomar, who is the accused number two in the case,   under Section 506 part 1 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) regarding victim no 1. He was reportedly discharged of the remaining offences, Live Law said in a report. Tomar is a former assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India.

The order was passed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Priyanka Rajpoot of Delhi's Rouse Avenue Courts. In April the judge had dismissed Singh's application seeking further investigation in the case. Brij Bhushan Saran Singh claimed that he was not in India on the date in question, Live Law reported. 

The order comes not long after the BJP decided to replace Brij Bhushan Singh with his son Karan Bhushan Singh from Uttar Pradesh's Kaiserganj constituency. 

The Delhi 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 Indian Penal Code.

Another Delhi court is likely to pronounce its order on May 20 on whether to accept a police report seeking cancellation of a sexual harassment complaint filed by a minor wrestler against Singh.

During the in-chamber proceedings held on August 1 last year, the minor wrestler had told the court that she was satisfied with the Delhi Police's investigation in the case and not opposed to the closure report it had submitted.

On June 15, 2023, the Delhi Police filed a report before the court seeking cancellation of the case involving the girl after her father made a startling claim midway through the probe that he levelled false allegations of sexual harassment against Singh to get back at him for perceived injustice to his daughter.

Police had recommended dropping the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act case against Singh, but charged him with sexual harassment and stalking in a separate case lodged on the basis of a complaint by six women wrestlers.

Police had recommended cancellation of the complaint involving the minor wrestler, saying "no corroborative evidence" was found.

The POCSO Act provides for a minimum imprisonment of three years, depending on the sections under which a crime has been registered. The closure report notwithstanding, the court has to take a call on whether to accept it or order further investigation.

Singh, an influential Rajput leader from Uttar Pradesh has been denied BJP ticket from Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations levelled against him.

- With PTI inputs

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