14 Oct 2020
Law student, who accused ex-minister Chinmayanand of rape, disowns allegations
The Swami Chinmayanand rape case, which garnered headlines, took an unexpected turn on Tuesday, when the accuser, a young law student, took back her allegations during a hearing before a special MP-MLA court.
She refused to own up to any of the allegations leveled last year, claiming that she earlier made the statements under pressure from miscreants.
The prosecution immediately sought action against her.
Background: Fearing Chinmayanand's clout, woman had released SOS video
In August last year, the woman, a student of a college in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur that Chinmayanand runs, had released a video leveling serious allegations. He was a minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Cabinet; she had said his influence forced her to release the video.
A day later, the accuser went missing and was found a week later.
Chinmayanand had accused her of extortion.
Victim had said her clothes were torn, Chinmayanand demanded massages
The woman had claimed Chinmayanand's loyalists brought her to Divya Dham, where he forced her to give her massages and tore her clothes when she resisted the advances.
Chinmayanand filmed the abuse as well, she had claimed. The woman also recorded the incident with a camera fitted inside her specs, reports had said earlier.
She had claimed the abuse continued for nearly a year.
Woman was arrested for blackmail, Chinmayanand for sexual assault
As the case got attention, the SIT had arrested the woman as well. Her father said she has no links with the three men who allegedly blackmailed Chinmayanand for Rs. 5 crore. However, SIT claimed otherwise.
The woman was given bail in December 2019, and the BJP strongman in February this year.
In September 2019, BJP declared Chinmayanand was no longer a party man.
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The ex-minister was booked for misusing position
To note, Chinmayanand was booked under Section 376C of the IPC that deals with abusing one's position to have "sexual intercourse not amounting to the offense of rape." He was also booked under Section 354D (stalking), Section 342 (wrongful confinement), and Section 506 (criminal intimidation).
Woman disowned her statements, claimed was pressurized
Subsequently, on the directions of Allahabad High Court, a special court was set up. On Tuesday, the woman recorded her statement before Additional District Judge Pawan Kumar Rai.
"The student told the court that she had made the allegation of sexual assault on Chinmayanand under pressure from miscreants," government counsel Abhay Tripathi said.
The prosecution later moved an application to file a perjury case.
Victim was cross-examined, she stuck to "was under pressure" stance
The prosecution lawyer said he declared the woman hostile and requested cross-examination.
"In the cross-examination, the law student maintained that she had made the earlier statement under pressure from miscreants....She also maintained that she was under pressure when she had filed the complaint to the police," the person said, adding that she didn't point toward the "miscreants."
The case will be heard again today
Further, Judge Rai ordered his office to register the prosecution's application, which would be furnished to the woman and accused. Section 340 of CrPC was evoked for the application.
"The court has asked the law student to file her counter by October 15, the next day of the hearing," Tripathi revealed.
Earlier, a senior cop had said there's enough circumstantial evidence supporting woman's allegations.