Harassment case: Chinmayanand tells media he trusts judiciary

Chinmayanand, Uttar Pradesh, BJP
The female law student had made a video of herself and had uploaded it on her social media account, accusing Swami Chinmayanand of sexual abuse. Photo: Facebook

Former Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand on Wednesday (September 4) expressed full faith in the judiciary, a day after the UP government constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe charges levelled by a Shahjahanpur woman against him.

Appearing before the media for the first time after an FIR was lodged against him by a female law student here, he said, “The matter is in the Supreme Court. An SIT has been constituted. I have full faith in the judiciary and I will say whatever I have to say before the SIT,” he said.

At the press conference, Chinmayanand also asked electronic media reporters to switch off their cameras. “I will not talk to the electronic media. What will you do?” he said.

The UP Police had visited Haridwar to trace the BJP leader after he was booked by the Shahjahanpur police when the student went missing following her allegation in a video clip that he had been harassing her.

Also read: Chinmayanand case: Missing UP law student found, to be with SC till parents come

Acting on the Supreme Court’s order, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday (September 3) constituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The SIT, who is to be headed by an IG-rank police officer will look into the two cross FIRs filed in the high-profile case.

Instructions have been issued to Divisional Commissioner (Bareilly) and Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Jyotibha Phule Ruhelkhand University, Bareilly, to admit the law student and her brother at Mahatma Jyotibha Phule Ruhelkhand University, Bareilly or any affiliated college.

Directions have also been issued to the Superintendent of Police, Shahjahanpur to provide adequate security to the law student, her parents and other members of her family, it said. The law student had gone missing after levelling allegations against Chinmayanand in a video and was later found in Rajasthan by UP police.

The apex court judges said that the woman had raised certain grievances against the institution where she studied and her mother and father had some apprehensions about the safety of their children. The top court said that the Delhi Police will accompany her parents to their residence in Shahjahanpur and the woman will continue her stay in the national capital till September 12.

A bench of justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna was told by the Uttar Pradesh government that in compliance with apex court’s earlier order, they have made all arrangements for transfer of the woman and her brother to other colleges with hostel facility.

Also read: Chinmayanand case: Missing law student traced in Rajasthan

The bench requested the Bar Council of India (BCI) to increase the seats of the colleges in which the woman and her brother will be shifted for LLM and LLB courses respectively. The top court disposed of the suo motu petition, of which it had taken cognisance last week, and said that the woman and her parents are at liberty to go home in Shahjahanpur accompanied by Delhi police.

The court further said that if any further direction including that of security is required, then it can be mentioned before the Allahabad High Court. The court, which had earlier interacted in-chamber with the woman, had said that she had told the judges that she didn’t want to continue her studies in the college run by Chinmayanand’s ashram at Shahjahanpur.

The Shahjahanpur police had on August 27 lodged an FIR against Chinmayanand after the student went missing following her allegation in a video clip that he had been harassing her. She also spoke about a threat to her and her family’s life in the video clip.

Her father had filed a complaint with police accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge refuted by the BJP leader’s lawyer who claimed it was a “conspiracy” to blackmail him.