The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to the law student who accused former Union minister Chinmayanand of rape, NDTV reported. This came two months after the woman was arrested over extortion charges.

The complainant and three others were lodged in a Shahjahanpur jail for allegedly blackmailing and demanding Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand. The former Bharatiya Janata Party leader has also been lodged in the same jail since October 20. A formal chargesheet against him was filed early last month.

The law student was refused permission to take her examination that began from November 26. The university in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, said that the student did not fulfill the mandatory rule of 75% attendance. It also asked her to produce a court order to appear for the examination. The institution had admitted the student on the directions of the Supreme Court.

Chinmayanand was the president of the law student’s previous college administration, where she completed her first and second term exams.

The complainant had accused the former Bharatiya Janata Party leader of raping her for more than a year. Police had claimed that she and her alleged accomplices had threatened to upload video clips of Chinmayanand getting a massage from her if he did not pay up.

After the accusations against Chinmayanand came to light in August, the former minister was initially booked on watered down charges but not rape. A rape charge carries a term of seven years extending to life. In the chargesheet, the former Union minister faces charges under Indian Penal Code sections 376 C (sexual intercourse by a person in authority), 354 D (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation). Section 376 C carries a punishment of five to 10 years.

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. In September, she claimed that she possessed about 35 videos that would implicate the BJP leader.

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  1. The Daily Fix: Is Unnao case going to play out yet again with rape-accused BJP leader Chinmayanand?
  2. Does the extortion case against UP woman undermine her rape complaint against Chinmayanand?