Oversight committee report is ‘eyewash’, counsel representing wrestlers tells court


 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. File.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. File.
| Photo Credit: ANI

The oversight committee formed by the Union Sports Ministry — to investigate sexual harassment allegations levelled against former Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh — has not been constituted as per the rules of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act, according to the counsel representing the women wrestlers who made the allegations. The counsel told Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Friday, that the report needs to be junked.

While concluding her submissions in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Harjeet Singh Jaspal, the wrestlers’ counsel, Rebecca John, added that Mr. Singh and suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar were never exonerated by the oversight committee. She asserted that the panel was an “eyewash to assuage sentiments”.

The oversight committee was headed by champion woman boxer M.C. Mary Kom. Ms. John noted that no NGO member was included in the committee and the poor representation of legal counsel included in the committee.

Generic recommendations

The allegations levelled in the FIR and probed in the chargesheet necessitates the framing of charges against the accused persons, the counsel for the wrestlers added.

While concluding her arguments, she also said that the report prepared by the oversight committee was nothing but an eyewash to assuage the sentiments as it has given “generic recommendations” without properly investigating the matter.

The next date of hearing in the matter is on September 16, when the prosecution is likely to advance its arguments.

In June, the Delhi police filed a 1,000 page chargesheet in the matter, accusing Mr Singh and another former WFI staffer Virendra Tomar for offences like outraging modesty, making sexually coloured remarks, stalking and criminal intimidation.

The court has given bail to the accused on July 20.


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