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Protecting India’s Athletes - A Review Of Sexual Harassment Laws Following Wrestling Allegations

Protecting Indias athletes
Friday, 14 April 2023 By Aahna Mehrotra, Aman Gupta

The sports fraternity in India was shaken in January 2023 when sexual harassment accusations were made against Mr. Brij Bhushan Singh, President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), who had been sitting at the helm for a period of twelve years. Several noted wrestlers took to the streets and staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi alleging harassment by Mr. Singh and WFI.1

The protests, which included some of the most reputed wrestlers, led to the government taking action by forming an oversight committee (Committee) to probe the allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and/or intimidation and submit a report within one month.2 In addition to the Committee, the Indian Olympic Association has also formed a committee to probe the allegations.3 In the meantime, Mr. Singh has stepped down from his position.

While the future course of action in the present case will depend on the findings in the reports, the alleged incident presents us with an opportunity to examine the present laws and regulations in India that seek to prevent sexual harassment in sports. Further, the authors will seek to analyse the repercussions that may follow and provide thoughts on the present state of Indian sports the incident highlights:

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Written by

Aahna Mehrotra

Aahna Mehrotra

Ms. Aahna Mehrotra is a Partner at TMT Law Practice. She was called to the Bar in May, 2011 and has gained considerable exposure through her experiences at different institutions worldwide.

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Aman Gupta

Aman Gupta

Aman Gupta is presently working as an Assistant Professor (Law and Technology) at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata ('NUJS'). Prior to joining NUJS, he taught in National Law University, Jodhpur ('NLU Jodhpur') as an Assistant Professor. He has also worked in the banking and finance and sports law teams of reputed law firms.

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