Haryana minister Sandeep Singh has joined the police investigation into the sexual harassment case against him and termed the charge levelled by the woman athletics coach ”false and baseless”.
He was questioned for nearly seven hours at Sector 26 police station here on Sunday. His counsel Deepak Sabharwal told reporters in the evening that his client received a notice for appearance from the police and he duly complied.
”He was asked to join the investigation at 11:30 am today. He joined the investigation in Sector 26 police station and the questioning continued till 7 pm,” he said on Sunday.
The lawyer said Singh has told the police that the allegations levelled against him are ”false and baseless”. He has also given documentary proof and whatever evidence he had, said Sabharwal.
”He replied to whatever questions were asked. We cooperated with the police. Whatever documentary proof we had we gave those to the police,” he said, adding the handed over two of his mobile phones to the police for investigation.
Singh has informed the police that he is available for joining the investigation again whenever required, the minister’s counsel said.
About the inclusion of IPC section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) in the FIR, Sabharwal said, ”Any section can be added or deleted in an FIR. This is the prerogative of the investigating agency.” Notably, the sports department portfolio, which was given up by Sandeep Singh after the sexual harassment case was registered recently on the complaint of the woman coach, is now being handled by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Giving up the portfolio, Singh had said that he took the step on moral grounds, but claimed that the charges against him were baseless. He, however, has not resigned from the BJP-led Haryana government.
Singh, a first-time MLA, has been booked under IPC Sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 A (sexual harassment), 354 B (compelling her to be naked), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
The Chandigarh Police has set up a Special Investigation Team to probe into the case and a few days ago had questioned the woman coach, the complainant in the case.