New Delhi: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court today, April 26, that the Delhi Police feels that it ought to initiate a preliminary enquiry in the sexual harassment allegations against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, before registering a first information report, as directed by the court earlier.
SG Mehta said this before a bench of Chief Justice of India, D.Y.Chandrachud.
The bench of the CJI and Justice P.S. Narasimha had issued notice in the case on Tuesday, April 25. Top wrestlers of the country – including Olympic, Commonwealth and world championship medallists – are protesting at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the Delhi Police’s purported refusal to register an FIR against serious allegations of sexual harassment including that of a minor against Singh.
CJI Chandrachud told Mehta that he could present the material which, according to him, justifies a preliminary enquiry before FIR in this case to the hearing bench on Friday, April 28.
“Normally, I am averse to the Court looking at any material, without showing it to the other side, but in this case, we will examine whether there is really any merit in what you are requesting,” he said.
When the SG told the CJI that he wanted to mention it because it should not appear that the Delhi Police is not complying with the court’s mandate to register FIR in this case, the CJI replied: “It’s all right”.
Senior advocate, Kapil Sibal, appearing on the other side, said he would like to file an affidavit. The CJI took note of his submission.
Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, who is among the protesting wrestlers who recently spoke to The Wire, expressing her frustration with the government’s lack of response to their demands for justice. Malik stated that she and her fellow athletes will not leave the protest site until their voices are heard and suggested that there may be government pressure to prevent the filing of an FIR.
According to another Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia, the complaint had been lying unattended for three months. “I believe police are not filing the FIR because of pressure from someone,” he told The Wire.
(With inputs from Chandraprakash Pathak)