The Allahabad High Court on Monday granted bail to former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, who has been accused of sexually exploiting a 23 years old law student. The order was passed by Justice Rahul Chaturvedi.
In the order, the High Court has made certain unusual observations which have the potential to pre-judge the criminal trial in the sexual exploitation case against him. As reported by Live Law, Justice Rahul Chaturvedi, who passed the bail order, said
Both used each other.
The judge made observations to the effect that the family members of the law student, who raised the complaint, were being benefited out of the accused Chinmayanand during the period of alleged exploitation. It was further mentioned that the student had not made any complaint or “whisper” to her family members against the accused.
From this, the Court drew a “conclusion” that the case was a matter of mutual benefit (quid pro quo) and that the same was a result of conspiracy hatched with the “greed” to extract more.
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The court noted in it’s order,
It is also noteworthy there are material on record where the family members of Miss “A” were being benefited out of the solipsistic behaviour of the accused applicant. It is also noticeable that there is also nothing on record that during the period of the alleged atrocities committed upon Miss “A” she made any complaint or even any whisper to her family members against the accused applicant, therefore, at this juncture, this Court draws its conclusion that it was a complete matter of quid pro quo but over a span of time the greed for extracting “more”, she along with her accomplices seems to have advanced for hatching a conspiracy against the applicant and tried to black mail him for ransom, through the obscenic video clips recorded by herself.
The complainant law student on the other hand is facing a case of extortion on the allegation that she had attempted to blackmail Chinmayanand using the recorded visuals of the sexual encounters she had with him by using a spy camera. She was under custody in that case, and was granted bail by the High Court in December last year.
Justice Chaturvedi also observes that the student had sought the “patronage” and “benevolence” of Chinmayanand and was “sharing private moments with him” and had got “material benefits” from the accused. The judge observes that “it is difficult to decipher who used whom” and remarks “it seems to be a case of quid pro quo”.
The bail order further read,
What is mind boggling, disturbing and matter of concern is that a student of LL.M., i.e. Miss “A” comes into contact with the applicant, seeks and enjoys his ‘patronage’ and ‘benevolence’ as well as on her family members and in lieu of that she was said to be exploited physically by the applicant, keeps mum throughout the entire long period for almost 9-10 months. She never shared anything with anyone including her parents. On the other hand, during those dark period, on her own, purchased an spy-camera fitted goggles, from which she shot nude pictures and recorded videos of the accused, which were used by her in demanding the ransom money from the accused applicant, after blackmailing her.
During the entire period of the alleged atrocities committed by the applicant, she was sharing private moments with the applicant, got her family member employed in the College and other material benefits from the applicant. There is nothing on record to show that she ever objected to or raised any protest or divulged anything adverse before the claimed incident. Therefore, it is difficult to decipher as to who has used whom ? It seems to be a matter of quid pro quo”.
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While discussing the reasons for granting bail as well, the Court said,
As pointed out earlier, that both the parties crossed their limits and at this stage it is very difficult to adjudicate as to who exploited whom?? In fact, both of them used each other.
The Courts are not supposed to make observations on the merits of the criminal case while deciding a bail application, as settled by the Supreme Court in several precedents.
The judge adds at the end of the order that the trial court should not be swayed by the observations and said that the trial court “would apply its own judicial discretion and accused while adjudicating the trial of the instant case”.
The Court also transferred the trial of both cases – sexual abuse case and extortion case – from Shajahanpur to Lucknow, considering that he is an “affluent giant robust personality of Shajahanpur”
- Chinmayanand was arrested by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on September 30, 2019, and has been under custody ever since
- He has been booked under Section 376-C of IPC for allegedly taking advantage of his official position by inducing the student to have sex with him
- The student was a LLM candidate at Swami Shukdevanand Law, where Chinmayanand is the director
- The Sessions Court at Shahjahanpur had rejected his bail plea on September 30, 2019 pursuant to which he approached the high court
- On November 16, 2019, the high court had reserved order on the bail application
- Later, the law student too was arrested in September in a counter-complaint filed by Chinmayanand alleging her of extortion and blackmailing
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- The SIT had booked her and her three friends on a complaint made by Chinmayanand that they had demanded Rs 5 crore from him and threatened him with the release of objectionable videos
- However, she was later granted bail by high court on December 04, 2019
- The SIT had earlier revealed that the law student’s call detail records indicated that she and her friends had exchanged over 4,300 calls this year, most of those being exchanged in August, 2019, proximate to the time when the alleged extortion call was made
- Her bail plea at the trial court was rejected by District and Sessions Judge, Sri Ram Babu Sharma, who observed that the call records and witness statements constituted a prima facie case against her
- The case came into lime light after she levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Chinmayanand by posting a live video on Facebook
- Also another video emerged online where the girl and her friends are seeing discussing about the extortion racket in a moving car (Read article at the end)
Update As On October 14, 2020
As reported by The Live Law, complainant law student has turned hostile, and now says she never accused Chinmayanand of sexual abuse.
Men’s Day Out does not hold any political bias and neither sides with either the man or the woman in this case. However, the bail order and it’s details are important for our readers from the point of view of how several relationship with benefits turn in rape allegations, when demands are not met.
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