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Friday, June 21, 2024

Brij Bhushan Singh Pleads not Guilty

A Delhi court framed charges against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for sexual harassment, intimidation and outraging the modesty of women in cases filed by women wrestlers.

Singh told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Priyanka Rajpoot that he was not guilty and wanted a trial.

Singh said, “Why will I plead guilty when I am not guilty?”

Speaking to reporters on May 11, Singh had said, “The court has accepted some parts of the chargesheet and rejected some, it is a legal procedure. If the charges against me are proven, I will commit suicide.”

When questioned about his statement earlier this month, where Singh said that he could commit suicide if charges against him were proven, he said, “Shaam ko aa jaaiye, latak jaate hain. (Come in the evening, I’ll do it.)”

“Are you joking? I had said that the day the allegations are proven…As of now, charges have been framed against me. They now have to prove it in court and tell about the evidence they have. I have all the evidence of my innocence…All these are false cases, Delhi Police have to prove what evidence they have against me,” he added.

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court also charged Vinod Tomar, the former WFI assistant secretary and co-accused, with criminal intimidation in the case. Tomar said, “All the allegations being levelled are false, and I have the evidence, which I will produce before the court in due time.”

Singh, the current BJP MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh, was not given a ticket to run in the Lok Sabha election because of sexual harassment allegations against him. Instead, the party chose his son, Karan Bhushan Singh, to run for the seat.

Delhi court’s judgement ends a long case due to which Indian wrestlers protested against Singh twice in 2023. The court charged Singh under sections 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty) and 354A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) based on the allegations of five complainants.

The court also framed charges under section 506-part 1 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC based on the allegations of two complainants. However, the court discharged him on the allegations of the sixth complainant.

Two FIRs were filed against Brij Bhushan based on the complaints of wrestlers. One was under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, but a cancellation report has been filed for this case which involved a minor wrestler.

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