A Delhi court on Wednesday posted for November 28 hearing of arguments on framing of charges against BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in a sexual harassment case against him by six women wrestlers.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Harjeet Singh Jaspal had, during the last hearing, granted three weeks to the counsels in the case to file their written arguments, and had stressed before the parties that the arguments shall be concluded in a systematic manner.
Upon Singh’s counsel filing a reply on Wednesday, the judge posted the matter for further proceedings on November 28.
The BJP MP had last time questioned the jurisdiction of the Delhi court trying a sexual harassment case against him by six women wrestlers, claiming that there was no action or consequence which happened in India.
"There is no action or consequence which has happened in India and therefore, the alleged offences which, as per the Prosecution, have happened in Tokyo, Mongolia, Bulgaria, Jakarta, Kazakhistan, Turkey, etc., cannot be tried by this court," Singh's counsel, advocate Rajiv Mohan had submitted before the court.
Singh had contested that this court had no jurisdiction to try any offence which was allegedly committed "outside" India.
Public Prosecutor (PP) Atul Kumar Srivastava, however, had said that the act of sexual harassment of the victims was a continuing offence, as it did not stop at any particular time.
“The accused molested the victims whenever he got the opportunity and such harassment cannot be looked in isolated brackets and the series or the chain thereof needs to be seen as one,” he had said.
Delhi Police has 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.
Earlier, Singh had urged the court to discharge him claiming material contradictions in the statements of witnesses against him.
His counsel, Mohan, had argued that as per the law, the Oversight Committee had to recommend for the registration of the FIR within seven days, but since in the matter at hand, no such recommendation has been made, it is safe to assume that the Committee did not find a prima facie case against the accused.
“Since no prima facie case was found out by the Oversight Committee, and since no case was found out, no FIR was registered, it automatically amounts to exoneration,” Mohan had told the court.
He had further claimed that the statements made before the Oversight Committee and the statements recorded under Section 164 CrPC have material contradictions and that the statements made later in time (under Section 164) have material improvements and, therefore are liable to be rejected in toto.
“Since there are material contradictions in the statements of the prosecution witnesses, that itself calls for discharge of the accused as the contradictions have the effect of taking the case away from the arena of grave suspicion, towards only mere suspicion,” the defence counsel had said.
The argument was opposed by the PP, who had said that the constitution of the Oversight Committee itself was not in accordance with law.
"There is no question of exoneration because no recommendations/findings have been given by the said Committee," the prosecutor had said.
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