Former Union minister Chinmayanand (File)
Former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, against whom a law student had levelled rape charges, was discharged from hospital on Monday. He was admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences here.
The bulletin issued by the hospital said, “Swami Chinmayanand was discharged today from the cardiology ward of the SGPGI at 6.30 pm.” When contacted, Chief Medical Superintendent of the SGPGI, Dr Amit Agarwal, confirmed the development. “He (Chinmayanand) has been discharged from the hospital,” the official told PTI.
Earlier, a district court rejected the bail pleas of BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand and the law student who has accused him of rape. The two were sent to 14-day-judicial custody after being arrested in cases that now run parallel. The former Union minister was booked under section 376C, a charge short of rape, on the basis of a complaint filed by the 23-year-old woman who studied at a college run by his ashram.
The woman herself was charged with extortion, following a complaint by Chinmayanand’s lawyer that she and three others were blackmailing the 72-year-old politician and demanding money from him. “District judge Rambabu Sharma heard the bail application of Swami Chinmayanand, and also the bail plea of the girl in the extortion case. The court dismissed both the bail applications,” government counsel Anuj Kumar Singh told PTI.
Chinmayanand’s advocate Om Singh said, “Following the rejection of the bail plea, an appeal will be filed in the Allahabad High Court.” In a letter sent to the court through the jail superintendent, the law student woman said she wanted to appear in person and argue her own case.
The judge turned down this plea. Law student’s advocate Anoop Trivedi claimed that the prosecution counsel, while arguing against the bail sought by Chinmayanand, told the court that the politician had used force against the woman while getting himself massaged by her.
Trivedi said if force was used, section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code should have been slapped against Chinmayanand. Instead, he was booked under section 376C, which is usually applied when someone abuses his position to “induce or seduce” a woman under his charge to have sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape.