SC Denies Chinmayanand Access to Rape Survivor’s Statement

Chinmayanand was arrested by the SIT on 21 September 2019 and sent to jail.

2 min read
Swami Chinmayanand has been accused of rape by a law student. 

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 8 October, denied former BJP MP Swami Chinmayanand access to the statement of a complainant, who filed a rape case against him before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

A bench headed by Justice UU Lalit and comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat allowed the appeal filed by a law student, who is the complainant in the matter.

The bench noted that as per the judgment of the top court in 2014, a copy of the statement under Section 164 CrPC should be given to the investigating officer immediately and the contents of the statement should not be disclosed to any person till charge sheet/report under Section 173 CrPC.

Thus, the top court has set aside the Allahabad High Court’s ruling, which directed Chinmayanand be provided with a copy of the statement made by the complainant in the case.

In November 2019, the top court had granted an interim stay on the high court order, which granted Chinmayanand access to the certified copy of the statement.

The victim had challenged the high court order and contended that the copy of her statement cannot be accessed before the filing of the charge sheet.

The victim had said that such a practice would be contrary to law and may have a far-reaching effect in all cases of a sexual offence against women.

Chinmayanand was arrested by the SIT on 21 September 2019 and sent to jail.

The 23-year-old complainant was also booked on charges of extortion. Chinmayanand was granted bail in February this year by the Allahabad High Court.

The HC had noted that it is not clear who had used whom between the former BJP MP and the complainant.

The apex court had directed the state government to constitute an SIT headed by an IG-rank officer to examine the charges levelled by the woman, who had gone missing after alleging harassment by Chinmayanand.

(This article has been published in arrangement with IANS)

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