A local court in Shahjahanpur on Thursday extended the judicial custody of former Union minister Chinmayanand, who has been arrested after being accused of raping and physically exploiting a 23-year-old law student in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported.

His lawyer Om Singh said the Bharatiya Janata Party leader was produced in court via videoconferencing because of security reasons. Chief Judicial Magistrate Omvir Singh extended his judicial custody by 14 days till October 16.

Advocate Pooja Singh, also representing Chinmayanand, said the court was informed about his poor health. The counsel requested that the BJP leader be provided Category A facilities inside the jail as he had been a Union minister.

Chinmayanand was earlier sent to judicial custody for 14 days on September 20. He was booked on watered down sexual assault charges but not rape, while the complainant has been arrested for alleged extortion.

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. Chinmayanand has been charged with stalking, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation.

In August, the 23-year-old complainant 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 was produced in the Supreme Court. Later in September, she claimed that she possessed about 35 videos that would implicate Chinmayanand.

Earlier on Monday, Congress leaders were detained and denied permission by the Uttar Pradesh administration to hold a protest march in support of the complainant.

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