The bail applications for BJP leader Chinmayanand and the 23-year-old law student who accused him of rape, were both turned down by a court in Uttar Pradesh today. They will now have to approach a higher court for relief.
The 73-year-old former Union Minister has been charged under a law that deals with rape but a sub-section has been applied in his case, which deals with "misusing authority for sexual intercourse". Days after his arrest on September 20, Chinmayanand was shifted to a hospital and has been there since. The authorities said he was suffering from low blood pressure and chest pain.
The law student was arrested last week for allegedly trying to extort Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand and is in jail. The Special Investigation Team looking into the case said she has "confessed" to the crime.
The decision of the court came as the Congress tried to hold a rally in solidarity with the law student but was stopped by the state police. The party said around 80 of its leaders and workers, including senior leader Jitin Prasada, was taken into preventive custody.
The party's senior leader Priyanka Gandhi has alleged that the entire administration has been "protecting" the 73-year-old former minister.
The charges against Chinmayanand carry a punishment of five to 10 years in jail and a fine. A rape charge would have meant a seven-year jail term, extending to a life term.
The woman's allegations made headlines when she went missing last month after posting her allegations on Facebook. She later said the police had taken no action despite her 12-page complaint, detailing what she called a year of sexual assault, blackmail and threats.
The woman has alleged that she was filmed in the bath, and Chinmayanand used the video as leverage to sexually exploit her for a year.