Sexual harassment case: Haryana minister Sandeep Singh seeks anticipatory bail
The case is listed for hearing in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate in Chandigarh on Tuesday
Haryana minister and former captain of the Indian hockey team Sandeep Singh, who is accused of sexually harassing and assaulting a junior athletics coach, has filed an anticipatory bail application in a Chandigarh court.
The case is listed for hearing in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Charges have been invoked against the minister under Sections 354 (outraging woman’s modesty), 354 A, 354B, 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The punishment under Sections 354 of the IPC can range from imprisonment for up to five years, a fine or both. The offence is cognisable and non-bailable, allowing the police to arrest the accused without a warrant.
The chargesheet mentions detailed incidents of the crime, as stated by the victim, who was questioned six to seven times by Chandigarh Police before filing the challan.
The chargesheet contains the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report that authenticates the data and other details like communication held between the complainant and the accused minister.
The FIR against the minister was registered on December 31, 2022, under Sections 342, 354, 354A, 354 B, 506 added 509 IPC. On January 1, a special investigation team headed by a woman Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was constituted.
“After investigation, a final report under Section 173 of the CrPC has been submitted against the accused in the court of the CJM for judicial verdict,” a statement by Chandigarh Police reads.
After being booked, Singh on January 1 gave up his sports portfolio, saying he has taken the step on moral grounds, and claimed the charges against him were baseless.
The complainant alleged that prior to her appointment as junior athletics coach in the Haryana sports department in September 2022, she came in touch with the accused through Instagram and Snapchat.
According to police records, the complainant said the accused asked her to meet him at his official residence in Chandigarh on March 2, 2022, and July 1, 2022, to verify her job-related documents and sexually molested her. She claimed the accused was creating problems in her training at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula and blocking her request for training abroad.
She said that the accused shared a confidential list of those appointed junior coaches with her over Snapchat on May 13, 2022, in order to gain her trust even though the actual appointment letter was issued to the complainant and others in September 2022, according to police records.
In his written reply to the police, the minister said that “security guards/commandos” deployed with him were present when the complainant came to meet him at his office-cum-official residence.