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Chinmayanand acquitted in sexual harassment case

Special judge (MP/MLA court) Pawan Kumar Rai on Friday acquitted former Union minister of state Swami Chinmayanand in a sexual harassment case
By Pawan Dixit, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 26, 2021 11:50 PM IST

Special judge (MP/MLA court) Pawan Kumar Rai on Friday acquitted former Union minister of state Swami Chinmayanand in a sexual harassment case. A woman law student had made the allegation against him in 2019 but disowned them last year. The Lucknow-based court also acquitted the law student and her colleagues of all charges of trying to extort money from the former minister.

“The court has discharged Swami Chinmayanand from all charges,” said Om Singh, the lawyer who was representing Chinmayanand in court.

Chinmayanand is president of the managing committee of the Swami Shukdevanand Post-Graduate College in Shahjahanpur in western UP.

The woman law student was studying in this college and working in its library, drawing a salary. She had disowned her accusations before the court through her lawyer, on October 13, 2020.

The law student told the court that she had levelled such allegations under pressure of anti-social elements.

The sexual harassment case came to light in August 2019 when the woman went missing from Shahjahanpur.

Later, she released videos alleging rape and sexual harassment by the former minister.

The state government formed a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the matter on Supreme Court orders. The SIT lodged an FIR against the former minister under Section 376-C of the IPC. It also booked the law student for extortion.

Chinmayanand and the law student were arrested in September 2019.

In February 2020, the Allahabad high court granted bail to Chinmayanand. The woman, too, secured bail. During the trial, 33 witnesses recorded their statements.

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