New Delhi, April 26
The Delhi Police on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that some kind of preliminary inquiry was needed before they could lodge an FIR over sexual harassment allegations levelled by seven women wrestlers, including a minor, against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
“We, prima facie, feel that there is a need to conduct a preliminary investigation before the registration of an FIR,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on behalf of the Delhi Police.
Mehta, however, said if the Bench felt an FIR was to be lodged straightaway, it could be done. “Let an impression not be created that the FIR has not been registered despite the court asking for it,” he added.
The Bench, which also included Justice PS Narasimha, told Mehta that the Delhi Police could put forth its views on the registration of the FIR on April 28 when the women wrestlers’ petition would be taken up for hearing. Noting that the allegations were serious in nature, the Supreme Court had on Tuesday issued notices to the Delhi Government and others on seven women wrestlers’ petition seeking registration of an FIR against Brij Bhushan for alleged sexual harassment.
The Bench examined the case file and ordered redaction of names of complainant wrestlers from judicial records to ensure that their identities were not made public and posted the matter for further hearing on Friday.
“There are serious allegations made in the petition by wrestlers who have represented India and sexual harassment meted out to them. The matter requires consideration by this court,” the Bench had noted.
The wrestlers, including award-winning ones, have been sitting on dharna at Jantar Mantar in the Capital seeking registration of an FIR against the WFI president.
The notices were issued on Tuesday after senior counsel Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter for urgent listing, alleging the police were not registering an FIR on the women wrestlers’ complaints.
Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal on Wednesday recommended Delhi Police to register FIR against the police officials under Section 166A (c) of the IPC for failing to register an FIR in the matter of “sexual harassment” of women wrestlers.