Kaushik may move court to clear name in sex scandal

Kaushik may move court to clear name in sex scandal

Kaushik, who is at the centre of the unsavoury episode, questioned Hockey India's authority to recommend police and government action against him and objected to HI holding that Ranjita Devi's complaints against him were "credible" without veryfying the allegations. He said since the five-member inquiry committee's report had only factual matters and no recommendations, HI could not recommend action against him.

"I object to Hockey India deciding not to use my services and recommending Delhi Police to take action against me. The inquiry committee had not at all given any recommendations and how can HI do this," he told reporters at a hurriedly-convened press conference. "I object to HI secretary general Narinder Batra saying that Ranjita Devi's written reply were credible and had specific charges. The report itself said there were no verification of the allegations. So it is contradictory, on one hand you are saying that her version was credible and at the same time they are not proved. How can it be possible?" he asked.

"I am saying again that all these charges against me are baseless and fabricated. I have sent a reply to the letter sent by HI to the Sports Ministry recommending action on me," he said while presenting his lawyers Mandira Mitra and Praveen Aggarwal to the media. Mitra said his client will see the situation for a while and if necessary will go to court.

"It is premature to say whether we will go to court or not. If necessary we will go to court but first we are replying to the letter sent by Hockey India to the government. We have given this reply to HI interim president Vidya Stokes," she said.

In his letter submitted to HI president, Kaushik accused the federation of conspiring to malign him in the sport fraternity. "... the management of Hockey India is conspiring against me to malign my stature in the sports fraternity and the society in general. Further, it shows that Hockey India is conducting this whole affair with a bias against me and concluding that I am guilty and as such this against the principal of natural justice," he said.

Kaushik also accused Batra of releasing the letter to the media on Saturday and said the general secretary was "grossly abusing his power". "I would like to record my protest at the gross abuse of power committed by the incumbent secretary general Sh Narinder Batra, who is seeking re-election for the same post in the upcoming elections, in releasing the contents of the letter along with documents to the media prior to its receipt by me," he said in his reply.

Kaushik said the letter is highly manipulative and demanded Hockey India to withdraw it. "The tone and tenor of this statement makes it clear that the management of Hockey India is acting in a vindictive manner.

"I demand Hockey India to withdraw this statement with immediate effect as it shows malafide intention and the presence of a larger conspiracy against me," he said in his letter. Kaushik also said that he would not have used videographer Basavraj with the women's team had he known he would indulge in unwanted activities.

"SAI has three videographers, Rajinder had been attached at Patiala, the second Nehal had gone for his family marriage so we had to use Basavraj's services. He was not my priority," he said.

"Moreover there is no connection between Basavraj taking pictures (of prostitutes) and I am being punished. Why am I being dragged into it?" he asked. Earlier in the day, Sports Ministry decided to launch its own probe into the allegations of sexual harassment against Kaushik by handing the task to its internal committee.

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