The special investigation team probing the sexual harassment and extortion cases involving former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chinmayanand filed chargesheets in both the cases on Wednesday, IANS reported.
The investigators filed the chargesheets in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Om Vir Singh in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and said that they had cross-examined 105 people. The police also submitted 79 pieces of evidence.
After a student accused Chinmayanand of raping her in August, the BJP leader was booked on watered down sexual assault charges but not rape. A rape charge carries a term of seven years extending to life, but Section 376C of the Indian Penal Code – sexual intercourse by a person in authority – comes with a punishment of five to 10 years. Chinmayanand was booked for stalking, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation.
The chargesheet was filed against Chinmayanand under IPC sections 376-C (sexual intercourse by a person in authority), 354-D (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation), The Indian Express reported.
The police arrested the complainant in September for allegedly demanding Rs 5 crore from the Union minister. Police claimed that she and her alleged accomplices – Sanjay, Sachin and Vikram – threatened to upload video clips of Chinmayanand getting a massage from her if he did not pay up.
The charges against the complainant and her alleged accomplices are under IPC sections 385 (putting a person in fear of injury to commit extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 201 (disappearance evidence) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Chinmayanand, the student and her alleged accomplices were present in court on Wednesday, when the charges were read out to them.
The chargesheet also mentioned a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and his aide who tried to extort Rs 1.25 crore from Chinmayanand, SIT Chief Naveen Arora said. DPS Rathore, the chairman of Shahjahanpur District Cooperative Bank, and his aide Ajeet Kumar, have not yet been arrested. Kumar is related to one of the other accused in the extortion case, the police said.
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 the month, she claimed that she possessed about 35 videos that would implicate the BJP leader.
Corrections and clarifications: The headline has been edited to reflect that a sexual harassment case, and not a rape case, was filed against Chinmayanand.