Ahead of hearing, wrestlers allowed to file sealed affidavit against WFI chief : The Tribune India

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Ahead of hearing, wrestlers allowed to file sealed affidavit against WFI chief

Ahead of hearing, wrestlers allowed to file sealed affidavit against WFI chief

Indian Olympic Association president and MP PT Usha with the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. ANI



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3

The seven women wrestlers, who levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court for permission to file an affidavit in a sealed cover.

Mentioning the issue before a Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud, the women wrestlers’ counsel sought permission to file the sealed cover affidavit before the top court, which was scheduled to take up the matter on Thursday. The counsel said the women wrestlers had no problem in sharing a copy of the affidavit with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. He, however, requested that it should not be made public.

The Bench allowed the counsel to produce the sealed cover affidavit on Thursday with an advance copy to Mehta.

The Solicitor General submitted that the investigation into the women wrestlers’ allegations was going on and the petitioners could share the material with the investigation officer. As Mehta asked if he could share the material with the investigation officer, the CJI said, “Alright”. India’s top wrestlers have been staging a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, demanding action against the WFI chief. The Delhi Police had, on April 28, filed two FIRs against Brij Bhushan on the women wrestlers’ allegations, hours after Mehta told the top court that a case would be registered on Friday.

On April 26, the police had told the Bench that some kind of preliminary inquiry was needed before it could proceed with the registration of an FIR over the sexual harassment allegations.

The top court had, on April 25, issued notices to the police and others on a plea by the seven women wrestlers, saying the matter was “serious” and required consideration.

Asserting that they would not leave the protest site until Brij Bhushan was arrested, the wrestlers resumed their sit-in on Sunday and demanded that the findings of the oversight panel that looked into the allegations be made public.

The committee was set up by the Sports Ministry in January after the wrestlers held a three-day sit-in. The wrestlers had demanded that the WFI be disbanded and its president Brij Bhushan removed.

The Sports Ministry had then formed an oversight committee headed by boxing great MC Mary Kom on January 23 and asked it to submit its findings in one month. Later, it added Babita Phogat to the probe panel as its sixth member and extended its deadline by two weeks.

Scuffle at protest site, Punia’s brother-in-law hurt

  • Wrestler Bajrang Punia’s brother-in-law was hurt in a scuffle between protesters and Delhi cops over getting folding beds to the protest site
  • The wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, said they were abused & pushed by cops, one of whom was allegedly drunk

Punia clears air on hotel controversy

New Delhi: Wrestler Bajrang Punia has said the wrestlers have rented hotel rooms near the protest site. The wrestlers have been trolled for over two days on social media after Bajrang and his wife Sangeeta Phogat were spotted at a restaurant in a hotel. There are also videos that suggest that the wrestlers have been leaving the protest site in the night to stay in the hotel.

“We have women wrestlers among us. They can’t just wash and change in the open. We have rented some rooms for this purpose only. We sleep here only,” he said. — TNS

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