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The law student who accused BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of rape and sexual assault, has sought a transfer of the trial out of Lucknow to Delhi, citing a threat to her life.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves mentioned the case for urgent hearing today before the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
Gonsalves told the Court that the accused in the case, Chinmayanand, has been enlarged on bail, and that the woman and her family fear for her life.
CJI Bobde suggested seeking protection against the threat, to which Gonsalves told the Court that the woman already has been given a solitary gunman for her protection.
CJI Bobde said that while he does not doubt the fear concerning the threat to her life, it would be advisable for the woman and her family to seek police protection.
"When there is danger, we ask the person to apply for protection. Point is then we can ask them about the threat perception...Not doubting that she's in danger, but protection cover helps us make a good decision."
CJI Bobde said.
The Court has agreed to hear the plea for transfer of the case on Monday and has suggested that the woman apply for police protection till then.
The LL.M. student from the Swami Shukdevanand Law College (SS Law College) in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh had posted videos online levelling allegations of sexual harassment against Swami Chinmayanand. The student went missing three days after the allegations were made.
The student had reportedly submitted 43 videos to the investigating agencies to support her claims of having been blackmailed and raped by Chinmayanand.
Both the student and Chinnmaynand were later arrested. Whereas Chinmayanand was arrested in the rape case, the student was arrested on charges of extortion levelled by Chinmayanand. They were later granted bail by the Allahabad High Court.
While granting Chinmayanand bail, the High Court had also directed that the trial be shifted from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow.
The Lucknow Court was directed to take up the matter on priority basis, as soon as possible. Moreover, at the time, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow was also directed to ensure the protection and security of the student.