The women wrestlers have told the court that “they were touched inappropriately(by WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) under the pretext of checking their breath. If that is not force, what else is?”
According to The Indian Express report each victim has told the court that they had to free themselves “from the clutches of the accused”.
The report said the Rouse Avenue court was told by six women wrestlers that they were sexually harassed by then WFI (Wrestling Federation of India) and BJP Lok Sabha MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The submissions were made by senior advocate Rebecca John, who represented the women wrestlers, as the court heard arguments on framing of charges against Singh and suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, the report said.
“The wrestlers told the court that they were touched inappropriately under the pretext of checking their breath. If that is not force, what else is?” the submissions made by John said, the report mentioned.
She told the court that intimidation was also involved along with sexual assault and called the two offences “interlinked”, the report said.
John said that in each case the victims faced discomfort, which emerged out of lack of consent, it mentioned.
“Is the accused a doctor…why was he checking their breath,” she asked, as per the report.
Reading out complaints of the six wrestlers, John told the court that in many of these, the wrestlers had mentioned that they had tried to push away the accused. This, she said, amounted to use of force and, therefore, an offence was made out under IPC Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), the report said.
During earlier hearings on framing of charges, Rajiv Mohan, representing Bhushan, had argued that only “hugging” did not amount to sexual assault, and thus did not form a case under Section 354, the report said.