Sushil Kumar murder case: HC junks plea seeking restraint on ‘media trial’

Updated on May 29, 2021 05:14 AM IST

Kumar and his associates allegedly assaulted Dhankad and two of his friends at Chhatrasal stadium.

Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar and his associate Ajay Kumar (back) in the custody of Delhi Police Special cell in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, May 23, 2021. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)
Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar and his associate Ajay Kumar (back) in the custody of Delhi Police Special cell in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, May 23, 2021. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea to restrain the alleged media trial of wrestler and Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar for his involvement in the death of a 23-year old man. The plea has also sought issuance of rules for reporting criminal cases.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and justice Jyoti Singh said a PIL cannot be filed for an individual, who is a “vigilant person”. It said the petition has been filed on behalf of a “vigilant person” (Kumar), claiming that media has defamed him by its reportage of the murder case in which he is an accused.

“You cannot file a PIL for an individual. We see no reason to entertain litigation on behalf of a vigilant person,” the court said and disposed of the plea filed by a law student, Shrikant Prasad.

Prasad had alleged that Kumar’s career and reputation have been damaged by the media’s reporting of the case registered against him in connection with the Chhatrasal Stadium brawl that led to the death of 23-year-old wrestler Sagar Dhankar.

On May 23, a Delhi court sent Kumar to six-days’ police custody for interrogation in connection with the killing of a fellow wrestler, saying the allegations against him are serious in nature and that no one is above the law.

Kumar and his associates allegedly assaulted Dhankar and two of his friends, Sonu and Amit Kumar, at the Chhatrasal stadium on the intervening night of May 4 and 5. Later, Sagar succumbed to the injuries.

Kumar was arrested along with co-accused Ajay from outer Delhi’s Mundka on May 23. The two-time Olympic medallist was on the run for nearly three weeks.

Delhi Police has lodged an FIR in the case under Sections 302 (murder), 308 (culpable homicide), 365 (kidnapping), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

The FIR was also registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act.

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