Shahjahanpur law student, who had accused Swami Chinmayanand of rape, confesses to blackmailing and extorting ex-BJP leader

  • The law student who had accused former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, has confessed to blackmailing and trying to extort the former minister

  • The student was arrested day after a court in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur agreed to hear her request for protection from arrest

  • The man she has accused, 72-year-old Chinmayanand, is not in jail. He has been in hospital since Sunday after two days in prison

The Shahjahanpur law student, who had accused ex-BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of  rape and harassment, has confessed that she tried to extort Rs 5 crore from the former Union minister, a special investigation team (SIT), probing the case said.

She was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday morning  and was produced before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Vineet Kumar, which sent her to 14 days judicial custody.

After a brief interrogation, the SIT arrested her on Wednesday morning from her residence. Her family alleged that the police arrived on Wednesday morning, a day before a court was to take up her request for protection from arrest, and dragged her out of their home "almost by force", without even her slippers.

Calling her arrest a "contempt of court," the girl's brother told The Indian Express, "SIT reached my residence in the morning to question my sister. After talking to her for a few minutes, SIT told us they were arresting her. When my sister objected and denied to go with them, SIT official forcibly dragged her inside their car and took her away."

Lawyer of Swami Chinmayanand, Manendra Singh said, "Court has sent the girl to 14-day judicial custody. A bail application was moved by her lawyer which was rejected by the court as it was not maintainable. If hearing on the bail application is taken up again, it'll be done at 1 pm."

The 23-year-old was taken to a hospital swarming with policemen for a medical examination and then arrested. Her father says he was forced to sign an arrest "memo", a document necessary for police paperwork, NDTV reported. A local court on Tuesday had accepted an interim bail plea filed by the student. It fixed Thursday for hearing the plea, which sought protection from arrest for allegedly trying to extort money from the former Union minister. She was also questioned on Tuesday by the special investigation team (SIT) that was set up under the directions of the Supreme Court.

 Shahjahanpur law student, who had accused Swami Chinmayanand of rape, confesses to blackmailing and extorting ex-BJP leader

The law student (face covered), who alleged BJP leader Chinmayanand of sexual misconduct and harassment, is seen outside a government hospital after a medical examination in Shahjahanpur Wednesday. PTI

The student has alleged she was raped and physically exploited for over a year by Chinmayanand, who was arrested last week and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. Chinmayanand's own bail application was Monday rejected by Shahjahanpur chief judicial magistrate, who said it should be moved in the sessions court, according to his counsel Om Singh.

On Monday, he was admitted at Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, complaining of chest pain, and remains there under observation. The CJM's court had also rejected the bail application of three men who were arrested on extortion charges filed by the BJP leader. The law student was also booked under the same charge.

On Monday, the Allahabad High Court had refused to grant interim bail to the student and directed her to file a fresh petition before an appropriate bench. "This bench was nominated to the case only for monitoring the investigation in this matter and has no jurisdiction to pass order on stay of arrest," it said.

The SIT has obtained the remand of Sachin Sengar and Vikram — two of three men arrested in the extortion case — for 95 hours, to help trace the mobile phone used in the alleged extortion bid. The police have also sent the mobile phone of Chinmayanand's counsel Om Singh, on which the message demanding money was allegedly received, for forensic examination, sources have said.

Chinmayanand, sent to judicial custody after his arrest, was 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".

This is a lesser charge than section 376, under which a rape convict faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The punishment under section 376C is between five and 10 years in jail. He was also booked under sections 354 D (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The woman had claimed that the police were trying to weaken the case against the ruling party politician. The High Court on Monday expressed satisfaction with the progress report submitted by the special investigation team probing the case.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2019 16:06:04 IST