Former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand celebrated his birthday in Shahjahanpur on the day the Supreme Court dismissed a plea challenging the High Court order that granted bail to him in the sexual exploitation case lodged by a law student.
During events at his Mumukshu ashram, Chinmayanand met supporters, listened to a Ramayan recitation and praised those who agitated for a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
According to ashram officials, a recitation of the "Sundarkand" from Ramayan was held in the evening on Tuesday, when he turned 73.
Visitors were given a special prasad made for the occasion.
The BJP politician also participated in an event organised by the local Hindu Yuva Vahini unit at the ashram, where he praised "kar sevaks" who took part in the Ayodhya movement.
After the Supreme Court's historic judgment on the Ayodhya dispute last year, a Ram temple is being built on the site where mobs brought down the Babri mosque in 1992.
Chinmayanand did not directly make clear that he was referring to the demolition when he mentioned the "kar sevaks".
"People who did kar seva in the Ayodhya matter are the real warriors," he said. He added that they should be honoured as a temple is now being constructed because of them.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday dismissed an appeal challenging the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to the former minister. Chinmayanand, whose trust runs the Shahjahanpur law college where the complainant studied, was arrested on September 20 last year under section 376-C of the IPC, a charge short of rape.
The section is applied when someone in authority takes advantage of his official position to "induce or seduce" a woman to have sex with him.
In a parallel case, the law student was charged with allegedly trying to extort money from Chinmayanand. The high court had granted her bail on December 4.
The Supreme Court had stepped in after the 23-year-old woman went missing for a few days in August last year after posting a video clip on social media, alleging sexual abuse.
A special investigation team of Uttar Pradesh Police, formed on the directions of the top court, arrested Chinmayanand about a month later.
The SIT also arrested the student after a complaint that she and her friends had tried to extort Rs five crore from Chinmayanand, threatening to make public videos showing her giving massages to him.