The Supreme Court of India has also directed the Allahabad High Court, the top court in Uttar Pradesh, to set up a bench to monitor an investigation against former Junior Minister for Home Affairs Swami Chinmayanand.
Shahjahanpur law student case: Supreme Court directs Uttar Pradesh government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the apprehension and allegation made by the student against BJP leader and former minister Swami Chinmayanand. pic.twitter.com/9YE9RejfMu— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2019
A 23-year-old law student from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur, around 200 kilometres from the state capital Lucknow, filed a case of kidnapping and criminal intimidation against Chinmayanand, a former member of parliament. The girl is studying at a college managed by the former minister.
After the student posted her charges in a video on social media alleging harassment and threats to her life from the religious leader-turned-politician, she had reportedly been missing since 24 August.
The Supreme Court of India took cognisance of the issue after a group of lawyers wrote a letter to the chief justice of India. The girl has since been found and the court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to give protection to her and her family.
Chinmayanand’s lawyer, in the meantime, has strongly rejected all the allegations and said that a conspiracy was being hatched by someone to defame the former minister. The lawyer claimed that his client was the actual victim and not the student. “The girl posted the video to save herself”, said the lawyer.
Chinmayanand is the second leader of the governing nationalist BJP to be embroiled in recent a sexual exploitation case. A sitting legislator from Uttar Pradesh, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, is already in jail facing similar charges.