LUCKNOW: In a major relief to the law student who had accused former Union minister
Chinamayanand of sexual harassment, the Allahabad High Court granted her bail in a case of extortion on Wednesday. The law student, 23, was arrested on September 25, 2019. She is lodged in Shahjahanpur district jail on charges of attempting to extort Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand.
The law student and three of her accomplices were booked in the extortion case by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the basis of the complaint filed by Chinmayanand. All four are accused of demanding Rs 5 crore from the former Union minister while threatening him with the release of objectionable videos.
The law student was booked under Sections 385 (Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 507 (Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC and Section 67 (A) of IT Act.
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On Wednesday, the High Court Bench, comprising Justice SD Singh, allowed the bail application of the law student after hearing the counsels of the parties concerned. The girl’s counsel argued that she was a victim of sexual harassment. She was raped by Chinmayanand for over a year and all the allegations against her were fabricated, said her counsel.
On the other hand, opposing the bail plea of the law student, Chinmayanand’s counsel claimed that if she was released on bail, she would destroy the spycam allegedly used for recording videos of Swami Chinmayanand. Chinmayanand’s counsel also claimed the girl later morphed the videos to blackmail his client. He argued that given bail, the accused could tamper with the evidence.
The court, after hearing the parties concerned, allowed the bail application of the law student and observed that the police had already completed an investigation into the extortion case and filed a charge sheet against the law student. The court also observed that no reasonable apprehension was brought by the state that if the applicant is given bail, she would delay the trial. Hence, there was no need to detain her any further, said the court.
The LLM student of SS Law College, run by Mumukshu Ashram of Chinmayanand, had accused the Swami of rape and harassment for over a year. Following her complaint, Chinmayanand was booked under Sections 376 C (sexual intercourse by a person in authority), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 D (stalking) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC. He was arrested on September 20 and has been languishing in Shahjahanpur district jail since then.