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Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging bail to Chinmayanand

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to cancel bail granted by the Allahabad High Court to BJP leader Chinmayanand in a case of alleged sexual exploitation of a law student. 

IANS Edited by: IANS New Delhi Published on: March 03, 2020 21:34 IST
Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging bail to Chinmayanand
Image Source : FILE

Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging bail to Chinmayanand 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to cancel bail granted by the Allahabad High Court to BJP leader Chinmayanand in a case of alleged sexual exploitation of a law student. The Allahabad High Court had observed it was a case of "quid pro quo". However, the apex court issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and others on a separate plea filed by the victim seeking transfer of the trial to Delhi.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Naveen Sinha, rejecting the plea, observed that the Allahabad High Court has already given reasons for granting bail in its order to Chinmayanand. The top court said this does not require any interference, as the High Court had already imposed several conditions while granting relief to Chinmayanand.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves represented the petitioners in the matter. The top court observed that the High Court is already monitoring the investigation and security has been provided to the victim and her family.

"We understand and appreciate your anxiety", said the top court to Gonsalves, who insisted that the victim and her family members' life is under threat. The apex court observed that chargesheet has been filed and the law will take its own course.

Gonsalves cited the Unnao rape case, where the victim and her relatives had sustained grievous injuries in a mysterious road accident. Former Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was the key accused in the case. The court replied that substantial protection has been provided to the victim and her family.

"This is equivalent to the security of a High Court judge," said the top court.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing Chinmayanand, said that petitioners have suppressed material facts from the court. Gonsalves insisted that chargesheet was filed for offence under section 376-C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which says the offence is not amounting to rape. The bench replied, "How can it be not amounting to rape?"

Gonsalves read out the provision, which said not amounting to the offence of rape. The bench replied, it may be changed while framing of charges. The bench also pointed out to Gonsalves about a video, which was allegedly recorded by the woman. The court queried Gonsalves that "Is this normal conduct?" Gonsalves replied, it was normal as it was counter video, as she is being blackmailed through two objectionable videos.

On February 3, the High Court had granted bail to Chinmayanand. He was arrested for allegedly sexually exploiting the woman law student at a college run by his trust at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The High Court observed that "both used each other".

Justice Rahul Chaturvedi had said, "Both parties crossed their limits and at this stage, it is very difficult to adjudicate as to who exploited whom. In fact, both of them used each other."

Chinmayanand was arrested on September 20 last year under section 376-C of the IPC. The apex court had acted after the 23-year-old law student went missing in August last year after alleging sexual abuse through a video clip on social media. The SIT had also arrested the student on a complaint that she and her friends had allegedly attempted to extort Rs five crore from Chinmayanand.

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