New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on 2 March the plea of a law student that the rape case lodged by her against former union minister Swami Chinmayanand be transferred to a Delhi court from Uttar Pradesh. The top court, while agreeing to hear the plea on Monday, however, observed that there is a "problem in transferring the criminal proceedings".
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took note of the submission of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the complainant, that the trial in the case be transferred, as she feared for her life in Uttar Pradesh.
"There are threats to us in Uttar Pradesh," Gonsalves told the bench which also comprised Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
"We are not doubting (your contention) that you are in danger. But, the point is you apply for police protection," the bench said.
The lawyer said that the complainant has been provided a gunman for her security by the Uttar Pradesh administration.
Earlier too, a plea was mentioned for urgent hearing in the top court against the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to Chinmayanand in the case.
The high court had on 3 February granted bail to Chinmayanand, a former Union minister who was arrested in a case of sexual exploitation of the woman studying law at a college run by his trust at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
"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," the high court had observed while granting bail to Chinmayanand.
Chinmayanand, whose trust runs the Shahjahanpur law college where the woman studied, was arrested on 20 September last year under section 376-C of the IPC, a charge short of rape.
The section is applied when someone in authority takes advantage of his official position to "induce or seduce" a woman to have sex with him.
In a parallel case, the woman was charged with trying to extort money from Chinmayanand, whom she had accused of rape. The high court had granted her bail on 4 December last year also.
The Supreme Court had stepped in after the 23-year-old law student went missing for a few days in August last year after posting a video clip on social media, alleging sexual abuse.
A special investigation team of Uttar Pradesh Police, formed on the directions of the apex court, arrested Chinmayanand about a month later.
The SIT also arrested the student after a complaint that she and her friends had tried to extort Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand, threatening to make public videos showing her giving massages to him.
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Updated Date: Feb 28, 2020 23:37:48 IST