ALLAHABAD: In the high profile rape, harassment and extortion case involving former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand and an LLM student, who has accused the Swami of raping her for a year, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by I-G Naveen Arora submitted the status report of the probe to the Allahabad High Court on Monday.
The SIT, set up by UP DGP OP Singh in compliance of the Supreme Court directives and led by I-G Naveen Arora, submitted the report along with the evidence including the pen drive, compact discs and a number of other documents in sealed envelopes to the court. The SIT chief also produced the call details of the complainant and her friend Sanjay Singh who along with two others was arrested in connection with a related extortion case.
Meanwhile, the court turned down the complainant’s pleas for an anticipatory bail in the extortion case and also her request to re-record her statement under Section 164 of CrPC. The High Court posted the matter for next hearing on October 22.
While accepting the SIT status report and expressing satisfaction over the progress of inquiry into the case, High Court’s special division bench comprising Justice Manoj Mishra and Justice Manju Rani Chauhan, rejected the petition of the girl seeking anticipatory bail in an related extortion case saying she should approach the appropriate court as it was the bench constituted on the instructions of the Supreme Court to monitor the progress of probe into the harassment and sexual abuse case.
Further, the court also rejected the girl’s plea to re-record her statement under Section 164 of CrPC. The court said that there was no reason to suspect the integrity of the magistrate in front of whom the girl had testified earlier.
In her plea, the complainant had informed the court that while she was testifying before the judicial magistrate, a woman was present there in the room. The complainant also claimed that after her testimony in the rape charges, the magistrate concerned did not take her signatures on each page of the recorded statement.
Rejecting her plea, the special bench of the High Court said that the issue of the presence of a third person in the recording room would be tackled by the other court while hearing the case. Secondly, the signatures of the testifier on all the pages of the recorded statement were not necessary. The bench added that it was not right to doubt the integrity of the magistrate without any reason.
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Moreover, the court also rejected the request of the public prosecutor to conduct in-camera proceedings in the case as the lawyer of Swami Chinmayanandopposed it saying that the SIT was holding press conference in the issue sharing details of the case with media from time to time. So there was nothing secret about it anymore.
SIT chief Naveen Arora had on Friday said the three persons including LLM student’s friend Sanjay Singh and her two cousins who were in jail in connection with the extortion case, when questioned in view of a video clip in which they were purportedly discussing extortion, had accepted their involvement in the case. They were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 385 (extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation), 201(disappearance of evidence), 35 (criminal act done with a criminal knowledge or intention) and 67 of the Information Technology Act.
While the three men were arrested by the SIT, the girl’s name also figures in the FIR as Ms A and her arrest is also imminent in the case.