The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to allow former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Chinmayanand to access a copy of the statement of the 23-year-old woman who filed a sexual harassment case against him, Bar and Bench reported.
A top court bench of Justices UU Lalit, Vineet Saran and S Ravindra Bhat set aside the Allahabad High Court’s order to let Chinmayanand have the statement that the woman gave to the magistrate, under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Supreme Court also noted that a complainant’s statement must preferably be recorded before a woman magistrate within 24 hours.
The Supreme Court had in November imposed a stay on the High Court’s order. The complainant had argued that giving Chinmayanand access to her statement before filing the chargesheet was against the law and would have a far-reaching effect in the case. The chargesheet was filed on November 6.
On February 5, Chimayanand was released from Shahjahanpur prison in Uttar Pradesh, two days after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail.
In his 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 for Rs 5 crore.
In August last year, the 23-year-old complainant, a law student, 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.