A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking protection from arrest that was filed by a law student who has accused former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chinmayanand of raping and physically exploiting her, NDTV reported.
This came a day after the Allahabad High Court refused to grant her anticipatory bail.
Earlier in the day, media reports claimed that the woman had been detained for questioning by the Special Investigation Team in connection with an extortion case filed by the BJP leader against the 23-year-old. The complainant’s brother and father were reportedly present when she was taken by the police.
However, her lawyer dismissed them. “Reports of the victim’s arrest is wrong,” ANI quoted Anup Trivedi as saying. “Till now we have neither received any notice nor any action has been taken against us.”
On Monday, the Shahjahanpur chief judicial magistrate had rejected the bail application of Chinmayanand, and three men associated with the law student who have bee arrested in the extortion case. The court said the bail application should be moved in the sessions court. The three accused – Sanjay, Sachin and Vikram – had been arrested on Friday for allegedly sending a text message to extort Rs 5 crore and for threatening to tarnish Chinmayanand’s reputation.
The SIT on Tuesday took Sachin and Vikram on remand for 95 hours, PTI reported. They were taken to the site for recovery of a mobile phone allegedly used in making the extortion demand. The complainant and her brother have said the extortion case has been filed to weaken their case.
The BJP leader was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Friday. He has been charged with watered down sexual assault charges but not with rape. While a rape charge carries a term of seven years extending to life, Section 376C of the Indian Penal Code – sexual intercourse by a person in authority – comes with a punishment of five to 10 years. He has also been charged with stalking, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation.
Last month, the 23-year-old went missing soon after posting a video detailing her ordeal. Although she did not name anyone, her father named Chinmayanand in a missing-person complaint. On August 27, the police booked Chinmayanand on kidnapping charges. The woman was found in Rajasthan on August 30, and produced in the Supreme Court.
Last week, she claimed that she possessed about 35 videos that would implicate Chinmayanand. The complainant said she wore glasses with a hidden camera when summoned to the former BJP MP’s home to give him “a massage”.
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