The Allahabad High Court on Monday granted bail to former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, who has been accused of sexually exploiting a 23 years old law student.
The order was passed by Justice Rahul Chaturvedi.
Chinmayanand has been booked under Section 376-C of IPC for allegedly taking advantage of his official position by inducing the student to have sex with him. He was arrested by the SIT on September 20, 2019, after the student gave a pen drive to the SIT to support her allegations, and he has remained in custody since then. The Sessions Court at Shahjahanpur had rejected his bail plea on September 30, 2019, pursuant to which he approached the high court. On November 16, 2019, the high court had reserved order on the bail application.
Notably, the law student was also arrested in September last year in a counter-complaint filed by Chinmayanand alleging her of extortion and blackmailing. She was granted bail by the high court on December 4, 2019.
The SIT had booked her and her three friends on a complaint made by Chinmayanand that they had demanded Rs. 5 crore from him and threatened him with the release of objectionable videos.
It had earlier revealed that the law student's call detail records indicated that she and her friends had exchanged over 4,300 calls this year, most of those being exchanged in August, 2019, proximate to the time when the alleged extortion call was made.
Her bail plea at the trial court was rejected by District and Sessions Judge, Sri Ram Babu Sharma, who observed that the call records and witness statements constituted a prima facie case against her.
The student was a LLM candidate at Swami Shukdevanand Law, where Chinmayand is the director. The case came into lime light after she leveled allegations of sexual harassment against Chinmayanand by posting a live video on Facebook. She had also claimed that her and her family's lives were at stake as Chinmayand had been threatening to kill them constantly. The SIT in this case was appointed by the Supreme Court on September 2, 2019, to investigate into the allegations.
The Court has made certain unusual observations in the bail order to the effect that that sexual intercourse was consensual and that both the parties were "using each other". Detailed story on that aspect may be read below :
'Both Used Each Other' : Allahabad HC Makes Unusual Observations In Bail Order On Sexual Abuse Case Against Chinmayanand
Click here to download order