The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea filed by a law student challenging the Allahabad High Court’s order granting bail to rape accused former Union Minister Chinmayanand in a rape case.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Navin Sinha observed that there was no reason to interfere with the order.
The Allahabad High Court’s Justice Rahul Chaturvedi had granted bail to Chinmayanand on February 3.
The bench has also sought response from Uttar Pradesh government on the separate plea by the student seeking transfer of the case to a Delhi Court from Uttar Pradesh on the ground that there is a threat to the victim’s life.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for the law student while countering the observation of the High Court that it was a quid pro quo case said, “The videos of the student bathing were filmed and used by Chinmayanand to sexually exploit the law student.”
Gonsalves further alleged that there was no mention of these videos in the bail order passed by the Allahabad High Court. “The High Court ignored the case of the student that she was under constant threat and duress that led her to submit to Chinmayanand,” Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves submitted that the Uttar Pradesh police have not invoked Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code in the charge sheet, instead, they booked Chinmayanand under Section 376C of Indian Penal Code which pertains to sexual offences not amounting to rape.
Advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for Chinmayanand, responded that the videos were mentioned in the chargesheet and it was the law student who recorded videos of Chinmayanand with the intention to blackmail him.
However, Gonsalves interjected and said, “The student was forced to record a counter-video to protect herself from further exploitation.”
The bench observed that the security provided to the law student by virtue of High Court’s order is equivalent to that of a High Court judge.
The bench also observed that the student can approach the Magistrate with an appropriate application for either cancellation of the bail or protection if she faces any attack by Chinmayanand during the investigation.
Chinmayanand is accused of sexually abusing a student of the Shahjahanpur law college, an institution funded by a trust run by him.
The expelled BJP leader was arrested on September 20 last year under section 376-C of the IPC, a charge short of rape.
The Supreme Court intervened after the 23-year-old student went missing for a few days in August last year after posting a video clip on social media, alleging sexual abuse.
In another case, the victim was charged with trying to extort money from Chinmayanand. The high court granted her bail on December 4, 2019.