Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Chinmayanand was released from Shahjahanpur prison in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, two days after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in a case of alleged sexual harassment of a law student, reported PTI.
On Wednesday, prison Superintendent Rakesh Kumar said the former Union minister was released after legal formalities were completed. His release was reportedly delayed as the bail order did not reach the jail authorities on time.
In August, the 23-year-old complainant had gone missing, soon after posting a video detailing her ordeal. Although she did not mention anyone, her father named Chinmayanand in a missing persons complaint. The police then booked Chinmayanand on kidnapping charges, and watered down sexual assault charges, but not rape. The woman was found in Rajasthan later that month, and was produced in the Supreme Court. The law student claimed that she possessed about 35 videos that would implicate the BJP leader.
In its bail order, Allahabad High Court Justice Rahul Chaturvedi said the case was a “complete matter of quid pro quo”, and claimed the woman’s conduct was “astonishing” and she had “tried to blackmail him for ransom”. He added that a “girl, whose virginity is at stake, not uttering a single word to her own parent or before the court” highlighted the “ingeniousness of the prosecution’s story”.
The complainant and three of her friends had received bail from the High Court in December in an extortion case filed on the basis of Chinmayanand’s complaint. She allegedly blackmailed the former BJP leader in exchange for Rs 5 crore.