Chinmayanand acquitted of keeping woman law student in captivity

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Lucknow, Mar 26 (PTI) A special court for lawmakers on Friday acquitted former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of keeping a law student in his captivity at Shahjahanpur allegedly to rape her.

The prosecution could not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, said special judge P K Rai, acquitting him of the charges.

The victim student too had turned hostile during the course of the trial in the case against Chinmayanand, the court noted.

For the want of evidence, the court also acquitted the law student and other co-accused Sanjay Singh, DPS Rathore, Vikram Singh, Sachin Singh and Ajeet Singh of the charges of trying to extort money from the BJP leader.

At the time of the pronouncement of the verdict, Chinmayanand and other accused persons were present in the court.

The court ordered acquittal as all witnesses had turned hostile in both cases.

The case against Chinmayanand was lodged at Kotwali police station in Shahjahanpur on August 27, 2019 on a complaint of the victim student's father, who had said that her daughter was pursuing LLM in a college run by Chinmayanand's ashram and was living in a hostel there.

He had said her mobile phone was switched off since August 23, he had said, adding he found through her Facebook account that she had been threatened by Chinmayanand and his accomplices of her physical harassment and rape, besides dire consequences.

The student’s father had expressed apprehension that something untoward had happened to his daughter.

He had said when he tried to contact Chinmayanad, he had switched off his mobile.

Chinmayanad was arrested in the case on September 20, 2019, and sent to jail.

Later, the investigation was completed in the case and a charge sheet against him was filed on November 4, 2019 under section 376-C of the IPC, an offence pertaining to the abuse of one's position by a person in authority to “induce or seduce” a woman under his charge to have “sexual intercourse, not amounting to rape” besides other sections.

On the other hand, advocate Om Singh had lodged an FIR on August 25, 2019 at the same police station against the law student and her friends, allegedly for demanding Rs 5 crore as extortion from Chinmayanad.

In the case filed by Chinmayanand against the law student and her friends, the charge sheet was filed on November 4, 2019, indicting them under section 385 of the IPC for putting a person in fear of injury for extortion and various other sections of the Information Technology Act. PTI CORR ABN RAX RAX