WFI chief is facing serious charges from wrestlers, the Supreme Court rules, and Delhi police are notified.
The Supreme Court issued a notice to Delhi Police on Tuesday in response to a petition filed by seven wrestlers seeking the registration of a FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, describing the allegations of sexual harassment against him as "serious" in nature.
This occurred on the same day that a number of political party leaders and representatives from farmers' organisations, including the former chief minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, arrived at Jantar Mantar to show support for professional wrestlers who have been staging a sit-in protest for the past three days to call for action against Brij Bhushan.
with read the wrestlers' appeal, the bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha stated that it was taking the matter under consideration "having due regard to the urgency."
The petition was filed by professional international wrestlers who have competed for India, and the bench noted that "there are serious allegations of sexual harassment in the petition" and that "the matter requires the consideration of this court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution."
The court sent the notice to the Delhi Police on Friday and declared it returnable.
The court's decision to withhold the complainants' names from the public was accompanied by a directive that "for the purposes of these proceedings, the identity of the petitioners shall be suppressed and the cause title be read as XYZ and Others vs. State NCT of Delhi and Others." Only the portion of the petition that has been redacted must be made public.
The bench initially believed that Section 156, which grants the police the authority to investigate cognizable instances, provided a solution. However, Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal argued on behalf of the petitioners that no FIR had been filed and that the complainants included a youngster.
In order to protect the complainants, the court further ordered that "the complaints which form part of an attachment to the petition in a sealed cover shall again be resealed and deposited together with the petition under Article 32 on the following day of listing."
According to Sibal, Section 166A of the IPC was amended to allow for prosecution of police officers who fail to file a formal complaint.
A police officer told The Indian Express on Monday that they have requested the report of the Oversight Committee, which initially looked into the allegations of the wrestlers, despite the protesting wrestlers' claims that no action has yet been taken regarding the seven complaints against the WFI chief filed at the Connaught Place Police Station on Friday.
On Tuesday, several people, including members of their fraternity, came to Jantar Mantar to show support for the wrestlers who were protesting. Four teenage wrestlers from Madhya Pradesh were among them; they travelled to the protest venue with their piggy bank to support the cause.
Former Haryana chief minister and Congress politician Bhupinder Singh Hooda, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, and AAP spokesperson Reena Gupta were among the political figures that went to the protest location.
A number of khap chiefs, akhara representatives, and local authorities also declared their support and intent to join the wrestlers in the sit-in protest. In addition, they pledged that 200 to 250 farmers would take turns travelling to Jantar Mantar every day to support the wrestlers.
This occurred the day after the wrestlers sought support for their cause from political parties, farmers' organisations, women's organisations, and khaps, a change from their previous protest three months prior.
World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat made the following statement at the protest site: "The wrestlers will not leave the protest site until the legal process is finished or Brij Bhushan is arrested. They claim they will not believe the Sports Ministry or the Sports Association of India (SAI) for a resolution, as they did the last time in Janu"
There was a sizable media presence outside Brij Bhushan's bungalow on Ashoka Road in New Delhi, which previously served as the WFI headquarters, not too far from the protest venue. The BJP MP, however, declined to speak to the reporters.