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Delhi High Court refuses to entertain PIL seeking to stop ‘media trial’ of wrestler Sushil Kumar in murder case

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said the petition has been filed on behalf of a "vigilant person" - Sushil Kumar and no other PIL can be entertained filed on behalf of him.

The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to hear a plea seeking to stop the media from ‘sensationalising’ and carrying out a ‘media trial’ against wrestler and Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar in connection with the death of a 23-year old wrestler, reports Bar and Bench.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said the petition has been filed on behalf of a “vigilant person” – Sushil Kumar and no other PIL can be entertained filed on behalf of him.

“You can’t file a PIL. Let that man come.”, the Court said as it dismissed the petition that claimed media has defamed him by its reportage of the murder case in which Sushil Kumar is an accused.

The former Olympian was arrested by a team of Delhi Police Special Cell on May 23 morning in connection with the Chhatrasal Stadium brawl that led to the death of a wrestler named Sagar Rana or Sagar Dhankad. Sushil Kumar was absconding after the purported May 4th incident.

The Delhi Hight observed that Sushil Kumar was free to take the recourse available to him in law, adding, “All these contentions are raised for Sushil Kumar and as per party-in-person, there is defamation. PIL has been preferred for a person who is a vigilant man. We see no reason to entertain.”

The petition was filed before the Court by a law student Srikant Prasad and Kamla Devi, the mother of accused Sushil Kumar.

The petitioners claimed that Kumar’s career, achievement, rewards, medals and honour are being diminished due to the ongoing media trial, and “he would be not left with anything” even after an acquittal. The petitioner also claimed that the entire case was set up with a malafide intention to sabotage Sushil Kumar’s career.

“Media is using Article 19 as misuse by creating false and frivolous heading. In every high profile cases, media has decided them criminal before the court.”, he contended.

Images show Olympian Sushil Kumar attacking Sagar

On Friday, a video showing Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar and his friends attacking another wrestler Sagar Rana with sticks surfaced on social media platforms.

In the video, the wrestler Sagar Rana can be seen lying on the ground, who later succumbed to the injuries he suffered due to the severe beating. The visuals show the 23-year-old injured wrestler, Sagar Dhankar, with his back on the ground while Sushil Kumar and three others surround him.

Reportedly, the wrestler had a video of the incident filmed to terrorise the wrestling circuit in the city. Sushil had asked his friend to make that video as they thrashed the victims like animals. He wanted to establish his fear in the wrestling community, the police told in the Delhi court.

Earlier this month, Sushil Kumar’s anticipatory bail was rejected by Delhi Court. Later on May 23, he was arrested by the Delhi Police and sent to 6-day police custody.

 

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