Why has WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Singh not been arrested despite being booked under POCSO?

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalMay 26, 2023 | 15:32

Why has WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Singh not been arrested despite being booked under POCSO?

The Delhi Police has slapped Section 10 of the POCSO Act against WFI cheif and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh. Photo: PTI

The calls for the arrest of BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh are gaining momentum ever since he has been named in two FIRs, which also includes a case registered against him under the non-bailable POCSO Act for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl.

The other FIR is in relation to comprehensive investigation into the complaints by other complainants under relevant sections pertaining to outrage of modesty. Singh, who is an MP from UP's Kaiserganj, is in the eye of the storm for allegedly sexually harassing women wrestlers, including a minor.


India's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, have been protesting against the WFI chief at Jantar Mantar in Delhi since April 23, and are demanding his arrest. Though it has been more than 20 days since the stringent and non-bailable offence act was passed against him, Singh has not been arrested so far. 

The wrestlers protest

The protest against Singh started again on April 23 when seven women wrestlers including a minor tried to file an FIR against Singh on April 21 for sexually harassing them since 2012.

The women have alleged that on at least four occasions, the harassment took place at Singh’s office on Asoka Road, New Delhi. The women have alleged that incidents of harassment continued even on the international tours.

The first protest was called off on January 23 after an Oversight Committee was set up to investigate the matter and it was to submit its findings within four weeks.However, as no action has been taken against Singh, the protesters felt that they have been betrayed.

Singh defends himself

The WFI chief has defended himself saying that he would press for making changes in this law as it is being misused on a mass scale and said that "we would force the government to change it," India Today reported.


While the wrestlers are adamant on resignation and arrest of Singh over the POCSO act, the wSingh intends to press the government to make changes in it. 

What is the POCSO act ?

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012 is a legislation that aims at protecting children from all kinds of sexual abuses.

It is the Section 10 of the POCSO act that has been slapped against Singh. The section awards punishment for “aggravated sexual act” from five to seven years, as defined by the act. 

The POCSO act defines “aggravated sexual assault” as sexual assault or touching the body of a minor without penetration with sexual intent “committed by a person in authority” which includes public servant, or a person in the ownership or management of staff, of any institution providing services to the child, or a person “in position of trust or authority of a child”.

It is a non-bailable offence and minimum punishment under this act is five years which may be extended to seven years including a fine.

Brij Bhushan Singh has called for pressing the government to make chances to the POCSO Act slapped against him. Photo: PTI

Why Singh hasn't been arrested yet?

In spite of three non-bailable offences, Singh has not been arrested because as per section 41A of the IPC, and as per multiple SC judgements, the arrest of the accused is not mandatory if the maximum punishment for the offence is less than seven years of jail.


As per an observation by SC in a case, the arrest of the accused can be made only if the investigating officer is satisfied that there is a reason to believe that the accused committed the offence and there is a necessity of an arrest. 

What legal experts say

According to legal experts, in the cases involving sexual abuse of minors, arrest of the accused is the “norm” due to the seriousness of the offense. 

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta who spoke on India Today TV raised questions on why Singh has not been arrested yet. 

He said that Section 10 of the POCSO Act is a non-bailable offence with a minimum sentence of five years. “The police have already conducted a preliminary inquiry. So why the delay? In so many other cases, the police file immediate FIRs and arrest the accused even when they are MP/MLAs. Why are the police not arresting  Singh? This is a misuse of discretion granted to the police,” Gupta said.

Senior Congress leader, Navjot Singh Sidhu also questioned as to why Singh was not arrested by the police despite the POCSO Act slapped against him.

On Wednesday (May 24) Sidhu met the protesters at the protest side and while addressing the media pressed for the arrest of Singh.

Last updated: May 26, 2023 | 15:32
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