The Supreme Court’s handling of a petition filed by female wrestlers accusing BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment has drawn criticism from retired Supreme Court Justice Madan B. Lokur. The wrestlers had complained to the highest court, pointing out that the Delhi Police had first declined to file a First Information Report (FIR) about their claims.
However, the Supreme Court recently dismissed the petition after noting that the Delhi Police eventually lodged a FIR and offered security to the wrestlers who asserted that their safety was in danger. In order to protect the interests of the wrestlers, senior attorney Narender Hooda asked that a retired judge oversee the probe. He was worried that the Delhi Police may stall the process.
However, this request was denied by a court chaired by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. According to Justice Lokur, the Delhi Police should not have been exempt from investigation for the delayed filing of the FIR by the Supreme Court. He argued that the probe should have been under the court’s supervision to ensure appropriate development and avoid any setbacks.
Justice Lokur argued that rather than accepting the delayed action, the Supreme Court ought to have inquired as to why the FIR was not filed sooner. He suggested that the court should have overseen the investigation rather than ordering the wrestlers to go before a magistrate or the High Court for additional proceedings in order to prevent any potential misconduct.
Justice Lokur emphasised that the Supreme Court has overseen investigations in the past, not with the goal of finding the accused guilty but rather to make sure a legitimate and impartial investigation was conducted. He believed that by choosing not to keep an eye on the investigation, the court erred in its assessment of the circumstances.
During a webinar hosted by ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) and the National Alliance of People’s Movement, Justice Lokur presented these viewpoints. Advocates Vrinda Grover and Shahrukh Alam also participated in the discussion. Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat are two wrestlers who are participating in a sit-in protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to call for action against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Written by- MD Arib khalique , College- Galgotia university , Semester-4th intern under Legal Vidhiya