Sexual harrasment case : Delhi court adjourns hearing on chargesheet against Brij Bhushan

New Delhi, Aug 19 (UNI) A Delhi Court adjourned the hearing on the chargesheet against BJP MP and Former Wrestling Federation of India(WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in the alleged sexual harassment case filed by women wrestlers.

The court adjourned the matter for hearing the arguments on charge for 26.08.23.

Counsel for Singh moved an application for exemption from personal appearance on behalf of accused Brij Bhushan, which was not objected.

ACMM Vaibhav Mehta after hearing the exemption application allowed the same and said, ” Be put up for purpose already fixed on 26.08.2023 at 11:30 AM. Date and time given as per the convenience of the Ld. Counsels”.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal who was hearing arguments on chargesheet was on leave today so the matter was adjourned for 26.08.2023.

The ACMM Court after taking cognizance on the chargesheet issued summons against Singh and his Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar for his appearance on July 18 and after their appearance on July 20, it granted regular bail with the conditions to furnish personal bond of Rs 25,000.

Now the case is at the stage of hearing the arguments on charge.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Mahima Rai Singh on June 22 after hearing the submission on behalf of Public Prosecutor transferred the chargesheet to the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal for hearing.

Counsel for Singh had opposed the framing of charges against his client on the last date by submitting that since there is no sanction u/s 188 Cr.P.C., the offences alleged to have been committed outside India cannot be tried by this court.

He argued that offences committed outside the local jurisdiction of Delhi, cannot be tried by this court.

Counsel contended that the allegations are barred by limitation. As Section 354A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides for a maximum punishment of 3 years and since the allegations pertaining to the period of 2017-18, barring one and hence, the bar of limitation is applicable.

He further submitted that police report does not furnish any sufficient explanation for the said delay and no generic explanation can be accepted to condone the delay.

He said that it is settled law and if there is an enquiry by Internal Sexual Harassment Committee in the findings the accused is exonerated, on the same allegations, arising out of same facts, there can be no fresh prosecution.

Government counsel submitted that the submissions made by the Defence counsel are not meritorious. He submitted that the bar of Section 188 is applicable when the offence is committed outside India in its entirety and not otherwise.

He submitted that the offences in question have partly been committed in Delhi and partly outside and therefore, the Delhi Court will have jurisdiction.

The counsel also submitted that the matter at hand squarely falls u/s 354 of IPC and having recourse to Section 468(3) Cr.P.C., there can be no questions on the bar of limitation.

He contended that the oversight committee report cannot be called a report which has exonerated the accused, it is merely a departmental enquiry and the same does not bar the jurisdiction of this court.

He requested that the court is duty bound to only see the material on record in the strict brackets of prima facie scrutiny and a mini trial cannot be conducted at this stage.

Delhi Police after investigation, on June, 15 filed a chargesheet under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking) and 506 (criminal intimidation) defined under Indian Penal Code(IPC) against Singh.

Leave a Reply