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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Trial in sexual harassment case against Chinmayanand begins

lucknow Updated: Nov 18, 2019 20:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

Trial began in the sexual harassment case against former union minister Swami Chinmayanand in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Shahjahanpur on Monday.

Chinmayanand appeared in person before the court and through his counsel prayed for a copy of the charge sheet.

His counsel Om Singh said, “We have not received a copy of the charge sheet as of now. We also prayed the court to provide the charge sheet and it has passed the directions accordingly. The next date of hearing is November 30.”

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on November 6 submitted charge sheets in two cases—one against former Union minister and the other against the woman law student who accused him of rape and sexual harassment (and who herself has been accused by the former minister of extortion).

TRIAL IN EXTORTION CASE TO BEGIN TODAY

The trial in the extortion case against the law student and her friends will begin on Tuesday. They are accused of trying to extort Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) from Chinmayanand.

The court has also summoned DPS Rathore, a BJP leader and his aide Ajeet Kumar, who was allegedly involved in an attempt to extort Rs 1.25 crore (Rs 12.5 million) from Chinmayanand on Tuesday.

Special Investigation Team chief Naveen Arora said Rathore and Kumar were charged under Sections 385 (extortion), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The woman was arrested on September 25 and booked under Sections 35 (criminal act done with a criminal knowledge or intention), 201 (disappearance of evidence), 385 (extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.

Chinmayanand, who was arrested on September 20, was booked under Sections 376C (sexual intercourse by a person or persons taking advantage of their official position), 354 D (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Five days after his arrest, the BJP said Chinmayanand was no longer with the party.

The woman went missing on August 24, a day after she posted a video on social media, alleging that a “senior leader of the saint community” was harassing and threatening to kill her. Following this, the woman’s father lodged a complaint, accusing Chinmayanand of harassing his daughter.