Swami Chinmayanand, a former Union Minister who was charged with raping a law student from Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in 2011, was granted anticipatory bail by the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday in the case of Swami Chinmiyanand Saraswati Pupil v. State of UP & Anr.
The victim and the State government were also directed by the court to file a response in this case within four weeks. The petitioner’s advocate claimed that Chinmayanand was given protection from arrest while the investigation was ongoing thanks to an order issued on July 16, 2012 by a Division Bench of the High Court.
The petitioner is a 75-year-old elderly and ill person who suffers from multiple illnesses, the advocate stated. Since Chinmayanand was given a protective order during the course of the inquiry, it was argued, he should be given anticipatory bail until the end of the case’s trial.
While opposing the request for anticipatory bail, the State’s attorney was unable to contest the applicant’s right to protection while the investigation was ongoing. He also acknowledged that the State government had made the decision to drop its case against Chinmayanand.
The Court granted Chinmayanand anticipatory bail after hearing from the parties, subject to a number of restrictions. It further stated,
In case, the applicant does not co-operate in the proceedings of the trial, this order shall stand automatically recalled / vacated and the applicant shall be taken into custody, forthwith.
The following hearing will take place on February 6, 2023. Chinmayanand was represented by senior advocate Anoop Trivedi, with assistance from advocates Ankit Shukla and Abhinav Gaur.
In the current case, the complainant, an LL.M. student from Shahjahanpur’s Swami Shukdevanand Law College (SS Law College), posted videos online accusing Swami Chinmayanand, a former BJP Member of Parliament, of rape and sexual harassment.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) established to look into the case detained Chinmayanand on September 21, 2019, and he was thereafter imprisoned. The 23-year-old student was also detained on extortion-related allegations. Later, the pupil was also detained.
Given that it was unclear who had exploited whom, the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Chinmayanand and the student in February 2020.
The petition contesting the High Court’s issuance of Chinmayanand’s bail was rejected by the Supreme Court in March of that year.
In a separate motion to transfer the trial in the rape case against Chinmayanand from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, the court also gave Chinmayanand notice.
Recently, the Supreme Court extended its order ordering the government to refrain from using coercion against Chinmayanand until November 30, 2022, provided that he promptly turned himself in to the appropriate magistrate.