The Supreme Court today refused to cancel bail granted last month to former union minister Chinmayanand, who has been accused of raping a law student, stressing that there is "no need to interfere" with the Allahabad High Court order.
The Allahabad High Court - monitoring the probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the rape case- has given reasons in its order granting bail to the 72-year-old former BJP leader and there is no need to interfere, a two-judge bench in the top court said today, dismissing an appeal challenging the high court order.
The top court, however, issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and others on a separate petition seeking transfer of the case against Chinmayanad to a court in Delhi.
Chinmayanand was arrested in September after a law student enrolled in one of his educational institutions at UP's Shahjahanpur accused him of sexually exploiting her for over a year. Soon afterwards, the 23-year-old woman was also taken into custody on charges of trying to extort money from the former Union Minister.
The law student had moved the top court for transferring the trial in the case from Lucknow to Delhi. Her lawyer today told the Supreme Court that Chinmayanand is "powerful" and there is threat to her life and her family.
Colin Gonsalves, the woman's lawyer, insisted that non-bailable warrants have been issued against the complainant and a stay was necessary.
Sidharth Luthra, Chinmayanand's lawyer, argued that the high court is monitoring the SIT probe and said security had already been given to the law student as he opposed the cancellation of bail.
Last month, while granting bail to the 72-year-old ex- BJP leader, the high court order had suggested a "quid pro quo" between the accused politician and the young woman and that they used each other.
Justice Rahul Chaturvedi had expressed astonishment that a "girl whose virginity is at stake" did not tell her parents or any judicial body about the sexual exploitation she was subjected to at the hands of the former politician.
"A girl whose virginity is at stake, not uttering a single word to her own parent or before the court regarding the alleged incident is astonishing conduct that speaks volumes about the ingeniousness of the prosecution story," the February 3 High Court order said.
Two days later, the ex-BJP leader walked out of the Shahjahanpur district jail to a grand welcome by his supporters. A video tweeted out by news agency ANI showed an excited group of admirers shouting "Swamiji Maharaj Ki Jai (Long live Swamiji Maharaj)" and greeting him with roses and folded hands.