Chandigarh, Sep 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) Haryana minister Sandeep Singh, who is being "defended" by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in sexual harassment charges levied by a junior athletics coach, has had a relationship with her beyond professional interaction, says a 700-page Chandigarh Police charge sheet.
Based on statement of 45 witnesses, the charge sheet notes that the minister couldn’t explain why he would meet the complainant beyond official work hours, including late hours.
The minister, a former Indian hockey team captain and a first-time legislator, moved a Chandigarh court for anticipatory bail on Monday and the matter will be listed for hearing on September 13.
In an interview to a YouTube channel and retweeted by Congress leader Kumari Selja, the woman coach accused Sandeep Singh of having attempted to force himself on her on three occasions in 2022.
In her first information report (FIR), she had claimed that Sandeep Singh, then the Sports Minister, had called her in July 2022 and tried to push himself on her.
The police in chargesheet also said the victim was able to identify the bedroom, side room, bathroom, and all connecting passageways in the official residence of Sandeep Singh.
"This shows the victim had visited the said rooms," said the charge sheet.
The minister had claimed she only came to the main office cabin in his house.
As per the charge sheet, "The CFSL reports regarding the mobile phones of the victim indicate that the accused and victim were in regular touch with each other and their relationship was beyond professional interaction.
"However, the accused during his examination completely denied having any personal relations with her, contrary to the evidence gathered. Some of the witnesses have also mentioned that there was a close relationship between the minister and the victim."
Acting on the complaint, an FIR under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered last year at the Sector 26 police station here.
Assering that Sandeep Singh, who is currently Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, would not resign, Chief Minister Khattar said in the just-concluded Assembly session that "After giving thought over the issue, I have decided and it is clear now that Sandeep Singh will not be asked to resign".
His assertion came after Congress leader Bhupinder Hooda demanded either dismissal or resignation of Sandeep Singh after being charge sheeted.