Swami Chinmayanand gets bail in sexual harassment case
The Allahabad High Court Monday granted bail to former union minister Swami Chinmayanand in the sexual harassment case filed against him by a law student, ANI reported.
Chimayanand was arrested on September 21 last year after police booked him under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. He was later booked under section 376C of the IPC, which is usually applied in cases where a person abuses his position to “induce or seduce” a woman under his charge to have “sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape”.
He was then produced to a local court which sent him to 14-day judicial custody. The case is being investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which had filed two chargesheets against Chinmayanand in November last year— one related to the sexual harassment allegations and another pertaining to the extortion demand charges against a law student and five others, including a local BJP leader, Dharmendra Pratap Singh Rathore.
The chargesheet was filed against Chinmayanand under IPC sections 376-C (sexual intercourse by a person in authority), 354-D (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
During questioning in 2019, Chinmayanand said: “I am ashamed of my act and do not want to give further testimony,” SIT chief Naveen Arora had said. The BJP had said that the former minister was no longer a member of the party after the allegations surfaced.
The high court had reserved the order last year on November 16 on a bail application filed by Chinmayanand.
On August 24, the complainant went missing, 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. The woman, who was studying in a college run by an organisation headed by Chinmayanand and said that she was sexually assaulted by him for a year.