New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to take suo moto cognizance of the petition filed by a group of women lawyers in the Chinmayanad sexual harassment case of the missing law student in Uttar Pradesh. The apex court will take up the matter on Friday.
The plea relates to the case of a law student from SS Law College in Shahjahanpur in UP who went missing after an alleged sexual harassment by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union Minister Swami Chinmayanand.
Chinmayanand was booked in the case of alleged abduction of the law student on Tuesday, following which he claimed that it was an attempt to malign his image, similar to that of UP BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
On Wednesday, the BJP leader had told media that the young woman, who studied at the college of whose managing committee he was the president, was also part of the conspiracy started by four women lawyers.
The 23-year-old woman has allegedly been missing from her college hostel since Saturday, days after she accused Chinmayanand of harassment and ‘destroying the lives of several girls’.
In a video that surfaced on the internet, the law student had sought the help of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, claiming that the former BJP MP was threatening to eliminate her and her family as she had evidence that could land him in trouble.
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh had tried to withdraw a 2011 rape and abduction case against Chinmayanand last year, but a court in Shahjahanpur had rejected its petition. The FIR against him was lodged on the complaint of a girl who had spent several years at his ashram. However, the BJP leader was never taken into custody.
Chinmayanand had been a three-time BJP MP. He first won elections on a BJP ticket from Badayun (in 1991), from Machchlishahr (in 1998), and Jaunpur (1999).