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SIT to probe the harassment charges levelled by LLM student against Swami Chinmayanand, Allahabad HC to monitor: SC

The Court had, however, clarified that it is not expressing any opinion on the correctness of the grievances and apprehensions expressed by the girl and her parents.

The sexual allegation case against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, levelled by a law student from Shahjahanpur in UP, has taken several twists and turns. Yesterday, the ‘abduction’ angle in the case was ruled out after the victim herself confessed before the Supreme Court that she had left Shahjahanpur with her three college mates on her own will “in order to protect herself.”

Now with one of the serious allegation eliminated, the Supreme Court today ordered the government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that will probe the harassment charges levelled by the LLM student against Swami Chinmayanand.

UP police had filed an FIR against Swami Chinmayanand, booking him for abduction and intimidation on the basis of the victim’s father’s complaint.

Taking the case suo motu on an application by some activist lawyers, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna informed that following the interaction with the student, she had expressed certain grievances and her parents have expressed apprehensions.

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To look into these grievances and apprehensions, the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh will constitute an SIT headed by a police officer of the rank of Inspector General of Police. The team will also comprise the superintendent of police and other police officials, ordered the apex court today. The Court has, however, clarified that it is not expressing any opinion on the correctness of the grievances and apprehensions.

Moreover, the SC has requested the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court to constitute a Bench to monitor this probe. The SIT will also take note of the FIR and the cross FIR filed in the case.

However, the Supreme Court retained the suo motu petition with itself on the limited aspect of ensuring that studies of the girl are not discontinued or disturbed. It directed the Counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh to apprise the Court of the institutes where the girl can be accommodated.

After a week-long hunt, the UP police traced the girl in Rajasthan with one of her friend named Sanjay Singh, and extortionist, who had allegedly made ransom calls to Swami Chinmayanand demanding Rs 5 crore.

After the Uttar Pradesh LLM student, who had initially accused BJP MP and former Union Minister Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, went missing, her father had alleged that the BJP leader has abducted her. Accordingly, the police had registered against Swami Chinmayanand. But after being produced before the Supreme Court yesterday within hours of being traced by police, she told the judges in an in-camera interaction that she had left Shahjahanpur with her three college mates on her own will “in order to protect herself.”

The Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the incident after a group of lawyers had written a letter to the Court urging for the same. The matter was mentioned before the Bench headed by Justice NV Ramanaon Wednesday.

The LLM student from the Swami Shukdevanand Law College (SS Law College) in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh had released a video on social media on August 23, levelling allegations of sexual harassment against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand.

In a video posted on Friday, the girl alleged that Chinmayanand, the director of her college, is threatening to kill her and her family as she has evidence that could land him in trouble. She asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath for help. The student, however, went missing three days after the allegations were made. This had raised suspicion that the BJP leader had abducted her and accordingly, the police had registered a case against him.

Earlier, Swami Chinmayanand had stated that he was being framed in the case as a part of a big conspiracy to malign the Uttar Pradesh government’s reputation.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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