It was decided on Tuesday, that today (15th October), a special court in Lucknow will hear the case of alleged perjury by a woman law student who had accused #Chinmayanand, a former Union Minister of sexual assault in September last year. The decision came in the light of the student turning hostile at a hearing which took place at a Lucknow special court on Tuesday (13th October). She also refused to accept any allegations she had made against the former BJP leader. The prosecution soon appealed to the court to allow to file an application seeking action against the student under Section 340 of the CrPC (false claim and false prosecution in a case).
Chinmayanand, is a former Union Minister (1994-2004, Vajpayee government). He was elected from the Lok Sabha constituency of Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. He is the president of the managing committee of #Shahjahanpur’s Swami Shukdevanand Postgraudate college (where the accusing student studied). He also runs five other colleges at the same town. He also has an ashram there and two others at Haridwar and Rishikesh. He was accused of rape by an inmate of his ashram earlier in 2011.
The case has been in news constantly since the last year as the what started out to be an alleged rape case also got the student arrested after the extortion case against her was proved. Due to its controversial nature, there has been a sense of chaos among the public about what exactly happened in the case. Scroll down to read a brief timeline of how the events unfolded in this controversial case.
- On 24th August 2019, a woman law student of Shahjahanpur’s SS Law college (23-year-old) posted videos on Facebook alleging that she was being exploited by powerful people and requested PM Modi and Uttar Pradesh CM #YogiAdityanath to help her. She also said that a big leader of Sant Samaj is threatening to kill her and her family.
- On 25th August 2019, the student went missing and her father lodged a complaint of abduction and sexual harassment (Section 304 and Section 506) in Shahjahanpur police station against Swami Chinmayanand. On the same day, Chinmaynand’s lawyer, Om Singh filed a FIR in extortion case against the student alleging that a WhatsApp message was sent to his plaintiff threatening damage to him and the ashram’s image if he didn’t pay an amount of Rupees 5 crore.
- On 27th August, district police filed a FIR against Chinmayanand under the above-mentioned sections.
- In the meantime, the case started garnering a lot of attention nationwide and thus a group of Supreme Court lawyers filed a plea in the Apex Court asking the Chief Justice of India to take suo motu cognizance of media reports regarding the case as they did not want a repetition of Unnao rape case.
- On 30th August, the first big twist of the case came around as the student was found near Mehandipur Balaji Temple in Rajasthan by the UP police with her friend Sanjay Singh (who was alleged of demanding 5 crore from Chinmayanand). As the SC took suo moto cognizance, she was produced in the court.
- On 2nd September, the Apex Court directed the UP government to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the case. The team was headed by IG Naveen Arora to probe the student’s allegations. The SIT visited the college and had conversations with teachers and students but Chinmayanand wasn’t found in his ashram.
- On 4th September, Chinmayanand alleged that these allegations were a conspiracy against him to defame his educational institutions.
- On 5th September, the student filed a 12-page rape complaint against Chinmayanand at Delhi, which was handed over to the SIT of UP on 7th September. She alleged that he raped her and physically exploited her for one year.
- On 10th September two videos surfaced – one of Chinmayanand and the girl in the middle of a massage session and the other of the girl and a group of men in a car talking about extortion messages.
- On 14th September, the student’s father handed over a pen drive with 43 video clips of Chinmayanand to support his daughter’s allegations to the SIT. On 20th September, Chinmayanand was arrested from his ashram and was sent to 14 days judicial custody. But the police didn’t charge him with rape and booked him for “misusing authority for sexual intercourse”.
- On 21st September, the law student and three of her friends were booked for alleged money extortion from Chinmayanand (Rupees 5 crores). On 24th, the woman applied for an interim bail in a local court for the same charges.
- On 25th September, she was sent to 14-day judicial custody after digital evidence proved her involvement in the extortion case.
- In November, the UP police stated that all evidences prove the charges against both the student and Chinmayanand. In the same month, the student wasn’t allowed to take up her LLM examination in Mahatma Jyothiba Phule university citing the reason of attendance shortage.
- On 5th February 2020, Chinmayanand was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court and received a huge welcome in UP as he walked out of jail. The HC granted him bail saying that the offence was a “quid pro quo” between the 72-year-old ex-BJP leader and the law student. Justice Rahul Chaturvedi said, “A girl whose virginity is at stake, not uttering a single word to her own parent or before the court regarding the alleged incident is astonishing conduct that speaks volumes about the ingeniousness of the prosecution story,”.
- On 3rd March, the Apex Court refused to cancel his bail as it didn’t want to interfere with the two-bench order of the Allahabad HC.
There is still no proper explanation about why the law student refused to accept the allegations made by her last year. The case is taking a new turn everyday and as of today, it is a perjury case.
– Jahnavi TR
Image credits – indiatoday.in