SIT: Student admitted to demanding extortion money
The student's lawyer filed the bail plea before a sessions court on Thursday, a day after a lower court rejected a similar application
Lucknow: A local court will on Monday hear the bail of the law student arrested for trying to extort Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand, the BJP leader she has accused of rape. The former Union minister's own bail petition in the sexual assault case is coming up for hearing that day. The 72-year-old politician on Thursday spent his fourth day in a Lucknow hospital, where doctors are monitoring him for diabetes and urinary problems after having cleared him of any cardiac illness. A Left delegation, including CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, visited the 23-year-old student in Shahjahanpur jail.
Karat accused the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government of helping rapists. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also lashed at the Yogi Adityanath government over the woman's arrest, comparing the Shahjahanpur episode with the Unnao rape case in which another BJP leader was arrested.
The student's lawyer filed the bail plea before a sessions court on Thursday, a day after a lower court rejected a similar application. District Judge Ram Babu Sharma fixed September 30 as its date of hearing. The woman's anticipatory bail plea was scheduled to be head on Thursday, but it has become infructuous after her arrest. A local court had sent the woman, who studied at a college run by Chinmayanand's ashram, to 14-day judicial custody.
According to the special investigation team (SIT), the student and three men ¿- arrested last week -- had threatened to upload video clips showing Chinmayanand getting massages from her. In Lucknow, a medical bulletin issued by the state-run Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences said the politician remains under observation. Chinmayanand was admitted there on Monday, when a test cleared him of any cardiac problems. He had been sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Shahjahanpur court on Friday, following his arrest by the same SIT, formed by the Uttar Pradesh police on the directions of the Supreme Court.
"Swami Chinmayanand was admitted in Cardiology Department of SGPGI with symptoms of low blood pressure and left-sided chest pain," a hospital bulletin said.
An angiography conducted on him on Monday showed there were no ¿significant¿ artery blockages, just calcification. But the hospital said he is still complaining of severe weakness and urinary problems. "He is under observation and undergoing further investigations for his diabetic and urinary problems," it said.
Chinmayanand was arrested under section 376C of the Indian Penal Code, a lesser charge than rape.
It is usually applied in cases where a person abuses his position to "induce or seduce" a woman under his charge to have "sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape". Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat, who met the student in jail along with All India Democratic Women's Association president Subhashni Ali, told the media that she appeared "terrified.
"The accused in this case is a very powerful person and the victim belongs to an ordinary family. She has displayed immense courage in complaining," she said."The BJP-led state government should stop helping rapists. The intimidation of the family members of the woman should be immediately stopped," Karat said.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi claimed that the police deliberately delayed action against Chinmayanand and arrested him only under public pressure.
"Even the charge of rape has not been put on the accused BJP leader. This is BJP's justice?" she tweeted.
Meanwhile, Chinmayanand's lawyer Om Singh claimed the woman is heard boasting in another video clip that she can access the sim card of anybody's phone including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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