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Wrestling Federation Chief Brij Bhushan Singh Granted Bail In Sexual Harassment Case

A Delhi Court on Thursday granted bail to outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused by six women wrestlers of sexual harassment, assault and stalking. Singh has continued to reject the allegations against him.  

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Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh
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A Delhi Court on Thursday granted regular bail to outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused by six women wrestlers of sexual harassment, assault and stalking. The court earlier granted two-days interim bail to Singh in the case. The judge has also granted regular bail to co accused Vinod Tomar.

The court further directed the accused to not leave the country without its prior permission and said they will not, directly or indirectly, indulge in threat or inducement to the complainants or witnesses.

Delhi Police doesn't support or oppose bail plea

Brij Bhushan wasn't present in the court during the hearing due to the ongoing Parliament Session. Meanwhile, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava, appearing for the Delhi Police, said that they are neither opposing nor supporting the bail application, and that their submission is only that the same shall be dealt with provision of law. While granting bail, the court also imposed Rs 25,000 bounty on Singh. 

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The counsel, appearing for the complainants, opposed the application, saying the accused was very influential. “Bail should not be granted. If at all it is granted, strict conditions must be imposed. Witnesses have been approached from time to time, no threat though,” he told the court. The counsel for the accused told the court that he will abide by all conditions.

The next hearing on the basis of 'scrutiny of documents' will be held on July 28.

In the previous order on July 18, the court had cited the case of Satender Kumar Anil vs CBI (2022), where if the offences are punishable with imprisonment of 7 years or less and the chargesheet has been filed without arrest, and the accused has cooperated throughout the investigation including appearing before the Investigation Officer, the bail applications of the accused can be decided without him being in physical custody or on an interim bail.

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Wrestlers Protest

For months, top Indian wrestlers including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Poonia protested against Singh, who is also a Member of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). After weeks of taking to the roads, the Delhi Police in April registered two FIRs in the case. One was registered under the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the allegations of women wrestlers and the second was registered under the sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the allegations of a minor wrestlers.

"Both the FIRs spoke of several alleged instances of sexual harassment like inappropriate touching, groping, stalking and intimidation by Singh at different times and places over a decade," reported PTI.

Depsite months of protests, Singh was never arrested in the case and has continued to reject the allegations against him.  

In June, the police filed charge sheet against Singh and charged him with sexual harassment and stalking. The police also charged co-accused Vinod Tomar, a suspended Assistant Secretary of WFI, for abetment, criminal intimidation, sexual harassment, and stalking. Tomar also appeared before the court on Tuesday and was granted interim bail.

The police sought the cancellation of the second case against Singh under POCSO Act, however, as the complainant had withdrawn the case.

"In the POCSO matter, after the completion of the investigation, we have submitted a police report under section 173, CrPC, requesting for a cancellation of the case based upon the statements of the complainant i.e the father of the victim and the victim herself," said Delhi Police PRO Suman Nalwa at the time.

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Singh's counsel alleged media trail, to which the judge said he may move an application before the high court or trial court, reported PTI, adding that the judge further said that the court will pass an appropriate order on the application. The counsel did not move any such application. 

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