The Allahabad High Court on Monday granted bail to former Union minister Chinmayanand, accused of sexually abusing a law student. Chinmayanand, whose trust runs the Shahjahanpur law college where the woman studied, was arrested on September 20 under section 376-C of the IPC, a charge short of rape. It is applied when someone in authority takes advantage of his official position and ''induces or seduces' a woman to have sex with him.
In a parallel case, the woman was charged with trying to extort money from the BJP leader, whom she had accused of rape. The high court granted her bail in that case in December.
The Special Investigation Team probing sexual harassment allegations against Chinmayanand and a related extortion case filed a voluminous charge sheet in a court on November 6 in the two cases.
The former Union minister was arrested on September 20. The section 376-C of the IPC is a lesser charge than section 376, under which a rape convict faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The punishment under section 376C is between five and 10 years in jail.
The four accused in the extortion case include the woman law student. All of them are in jail.
The 72-year-old Chinmayanand also faces the charges of stalking under section 354D, wrongful confinement under section 342 and criminal intimidation under section 506 of the IPC.
(With PTI Inputs)