New Delhi/ Shahjahanpur:The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered transfer of the Shahjahanpur law student who levelled harassment allegations against former union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, and her brother to other law colleges affiliated to Bareilly university saying, "for us their future is important".
A Bench of justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna was informed by the Uttar Pradesh government that in compliance with apex court's earlier order it has made all arrangements for transfer of the woman and her brother to other colleges with hostel facility.
The Bench requested the Bar Council of India (BCI) to increase the seats of the colleges in which the woman and her brother will be shifted for LLM and LLB courses respectively.
The top court disposed of the suo motu petition, of which it had taken cognisance last week, and said that the woman and her parents are at liberty to go home in Shahjahanpur accompanied by Delhi police. The court said that if any further direction is required, including that of security, then it can be mentioned before the Allahabad High Court.
The court, which had earlier interacted in-chamber with the woman, had said that she told the judges that she doesn't want to continue her study in the college run by Chinmayanand's ashram at Shahjahanpur.
The top court had on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to set up an SIT, headed by an IG-rank officer, to investigate the charges levelled by the woman, as well as the two related FIRs. It said that an Allahabad High Court bench will monitor the probe.
After interacting in-chamber with the woman and her parents, the court had issued a slew of directions, including asking the state to provide police protection to the family and explore the possibility of admitting the woman and her brother in another college at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. The woman had gone missing after levelling allegations against Chinmayanand in a video and was later found in Rajasthan by UP police.
The apex court judges had said the woman raised certain grievances against the institution where she studied and her parents had some apprehensions about the safety of their children. The court, however, had underscored that it was not expressing any opinion on the grievances and apprehensions raised by them. The apex court had also requested the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court to constitute a special bench to monitor the investigation in the two cross FIRs filed in the case—one by the woman's father and another by the institution where she was studying.
On August 30, it had said the woman will be kept in the national capital under full security.
The woman was produced before the apex court judges who said she has expressed desire not to go to her home state, Uttar Pradesh. The top court judges had on Friday also interacted with the woman who had told them that she had left Uttar Pradesh with her three college mates in "order to protect herself". It had directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to depute a police team to safely bring her parents from Sahajahanpur to Delhi by Saturday "at the earliest".
The apex court had taken suo motu cognizance of the case after a group of lawyers had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi urging him to take up the matter. The Shahjahanpur police had on August 27 lodged an FIR against Chinmayanand after the student went missing following her allegation in a video clip that he had been harassing her. She also spoke about threat to her and her family's life in the video clip.
Her father had filed a complaint with police accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge refuted by the BJP leader's lawyer who claimed it was a "conspiracy" to blackmail him.
The woman's father had alleged that she went missing at the behest of the 72-year-old BJP leader, who heads Mumukshu ashram. She is a post-graduate student in one of the colleges run by the ashram. PTI
Chinmayanand said on on Wednesday that he had "full faith in the judiciary". Appearing before the media for the first time after an FIR was lodged against him by a female law student here, he said, "The matter is in the Supreme Court. An SIT has been constituted." "I have full faith in the judiciary and I will say whatever I have to say before the SIT," he said. At the press conference, Chinmayanand also asked electronic media reporters to switch off their cameras. "I will not talk to the electronic media. What will you do?" he said. PTI