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Need for preliminary inquiry before FIR on allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers: Supreme Court

New Delhi, 26 April (Language) The Delhi Police told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that a preliminary inquiry was needed before registering an FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on the allegations of sexual harassment leveled by seven women wrestlers. Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha’s bench was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Delhi Police, that if the apex court feels that an FIR has to be lodged directly, it can be done. Mehta said, “Prima facie it appears that a preliminary inquiry needs to be conducted before registering an FIR.” Mehta said that no impression should be created that the FIR was not registered despite being told by the court. The bench took note of Mehta’s submissions and said that the Delhi Police may present its views on registration of FIR during the hearing of the wrestlers’ plea on April 28. The apex court had on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi Police and others on a petition by seven women wrestlers. Describing the allegations of sexual harassment leveled by women wrestlers as ‘serious’, the court had said that it (the court) needed to consider it. Wrestlers claimed that after being subjected to sexual, emotional, mental and physical harassment on several occasions by Singh and his close associates, they (wrestlers) mustered the courage to raise their voice against such acts and take appropriate action against the accused While demanding, she sat on a dharna at Jantar Mantar. Several national award-winning wrestlers are protesting at Jantar Mantar here, demanding the government to make public the report of the committee probing the allegations of sexual harassment against Singh.

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