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Business News/ News / India/  No more POCSO against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh? Minor withdraws sexual abuse charges against WFI president: Report

In a significant development, the minor among the group of seven female wrestlers who had accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and a BJP MP, of sexual harassment and stalking, has retracted her allegations. 

The Indian Express has learned that the 17-year-old has now provided a fresh statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before a magistrate, which holds evidentiary value in court.

This latest statement casts uncertainty over the future of the charges, as the court will now be tasked with determining whether the case can proceed and which of the conflicting statements made under Section 164 will carry more weight. LiveMint could not independently verify the report.

Also Read: 'Didn't get reaction we wanted': Protesting wrestlers say meeting with Amit Shah 'inconclusive'

Previously, in an FIR filed with the Delhi Police, the minor's father said that Singh's alleged sexual harassment continued to haunt her. The complaint detailed an incident in which Singh tightly held the girl, feigning a photo opportunity, but then proceeded to press forcefully against her shoulder and deliberately brushed his hands against her breasts.

On May 10, the minor initially recorded her statement before a magistrate, providing a detailed account of the sexual harassment incidents involving Singh. As a result, Singh was charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, carrying potential prison terms ranging from one to three years.

Also Read: Will quit jobs if its an obstacle in our way to justice: Wrestlers protesting against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh

It is to be noted that, under the POCSO Act, the accused is presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty, and the entire “burden of proof" lies on the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused. In order to obtain a favourable decision from the court, one must provide sufficient evidence to substantiate the relevant facts pertaining to their case.

With the minor now retracting her allegations, the court will play a crucial role in assessing the validity and credibility of both her withdrawal and the initial statement made under Section 164. This assessment will determine the future course of legal action in this high-profile case.

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 06 Jun 2023, 09:14 AM IST
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