Lucknow, Dec 4 (IANS) The 23-year-old law student, who accused former Union Minister Chinmayanand of rape, has been granted bail by the Allahabad High Court, two months after she was arrested on charges of extortion.
Chinmayanand was arrested on September 20 after the 23-year-old woman, a student of a law college in Shahjahanpur, accused him of rape.
Chinmayanand filed a counter-complaint in which he allegd that the law student and three boys were trying to extort Rs 5 crore from him.
Police arrested four people — including the law student — on charges of extortion after a video clip in which they are seen discussing the issue went viral.
The woman had alleged that Chinmayanand, who runs several ashrams and educational institutions, had sexually exploited her after helping her with admission into his law college last year. He allegedly filmed her taking a bath at the hostel, blackmailed her with the video and raped her. She was also allegedly brought to his room at gunpoint and forced to give him massages.
The case went public when the student vanished on August 24 after putting up a Facebook post without naming the politician.
Chinmayanand’s team then filed an extortion case.
When the Uttar Pradesh Police tracked the student down after a week, the Supreme Court heard her allegations and ordered a SIT probe into the matter.
The BJP leader has been charged under a law that deals with rape but a sub-section has been applied in his case, which deals with ‘misusing authority for sexual intercourse’.
The reading of the section suggests a watered-down charge which carries a punishment of five to ten years in jail and a fine.
A direct rape charge would have meant a seven-year jail term extending to a life term. He has also been charged with stalking, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.
Chinmayanand is lodged in Shahjahanpur jail.