Special Court acquitted former BJP MP in sexual harassment case

Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence LAW INSIDER IN

Kahish Jain

A special court in Lucknow acquitted Chinmayanand in a sexual assault case involving a law student in Uttar Pradesh. Chinmayanand is a former Member of Parliament of the Bhartiya Janata Party. Om Singh, the Lawyer who represented Chinmayanand in Court has stated-
“The court has discharged Swami Chinmayanand from all charges.” Special Judge PK Rai stated that the prosecution was unable to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt. The Special Court also acquitted the student and her colleagues of charges of attempting to extort the MP of Rs 5 crore. The former Union Minister has lodged a case of extortion against them. However, the Court stated that they could not find any evidence to prove those charges.

The Court took cognizance of the fact that all the witnesses have turned hostile in both the cases. The 23-year old law student had disowned her statement before the Special Court and had denied that she ever made allegations of any sort against Chinmayanand.
Priorly, the woman had gone missing after posting a video that stated in grave detail her ordeal at the hands of the former MP. While she omitted to mention anyone in name, her father filed a missing person’s complaint and named Chinmayanand in the same. Following the complaint, the police booked the former MP on charges of Kidnapping and watered down sexual assault
charges. They did not mention the offense of rape.

The woman concerned was found in Rajasthan later. When produced before the Supreme Court, she claimed to possess 35 videos that could implicate Chinmayanand. The Court had refused to allow Chinmayanand to access a copy of the woman’s earlier statement. A Bench of the Apex Court then set aside the order of the Allahabad High Court to allow Chinmayanand to have access to the statement.

Later the Supreme Court had imposed a stay on the order passed by the High Court. The complainant had argued that giving Chinmayanand access to her statement was against the law and was going to have detrimental effects on the case. Two days after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail, he was released from the Shahjahanpur prison in UP. In his bail order, the High Court Justice Rahul Chaturvedi stated that this particular case was a matter of quid pro quo. He believed that the woman had tried to
blackmail Chinmayanand for money.

The Complainant and three of her friends have been granted bail in an extortion based on Chinmayanand’s complaint.

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