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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Chinmayanand case: Law student gets bail

india Updated: Dec 05, 2019 01:16 IST
Jitendra Sarin
Jitendra Sarin

PRAYAGRAJ: The Allahabad high court on Wednesday granted bail to the law student in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur who has accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Swami Chinmayanand of rape and has in turn been charged with trying to extort ₹5 crore from the politician.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has booked the law student and three others on a complaint made by Chinmayanand that they had demanded ₹5 crore from him, threatening to release objectionable videos if he did not pay them the money.

Justice SD Singh allowed the bail application of the law student after hearing counsel of the parties. The woman’s counsel Swetashwa Agarwalargued that she had been a victim of sexual harassment and that all the allegations against her had been fabricated.

Chinmayanand’s counsel senior advocate Dilip Kumar opposed the bail application on grounds that the woman had concealed a spy cam which had been used for recording videos of the politician , in which images were later morphed to blackmail him. If released on bail, she would destroy the spy cam, which would amount to tampering with evidence, he said.

Observing that the police had already completed its investigation in the case and had filed a charge-sheet against the law student, the court allowed the bail application.

No reasonable apprehension had been raised by the state that if the applicant was released on bail, she would delay the trial, so there was no need to detain her any further, the court said.

On September 2, the Supreme Court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to form a SIT to probe the sexual harassment allegations against Chinmayanand. Almost a month after being accused of sexual misconduct, Swami Chinmanayand was arrested in Shahjahanpur on September 20.

SIT also registered a case against the victim’s cousin, friend and an unnamed person on September 20, alleging that they had tried to extort money from Chinmayanand.

After arresting Chinmayanand for allegedly sexually harassing the law student, who was studying in a college run by him, the state police on September 20 also arrested the victim’s cousin, friend and the unnamed person on charges of trying to extort ₹5 crore from Chinmayanand. Later, the law student was also arrested in the extortion case.