2011 Shahjahanpur Rape Case: Allahabad HC Grants Interim Anticipatory Bail To Swami Chinmiyanand Saraswati
The Allahabad High Court has recently granted interim anticipatory bail to former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmiyanand Saraswati till February 6 2023 in a rape case that happened in the year 2011 in Shahjahanpur.
A Single Bench of Justice Samit Gopal ordered –
"List this case on 6.2.2023. Till the next date of listing, in the event of arrest of the applicant - Swami Chinmiyanand Saraswati, involved in the aforesaid case shall be released on interim anticipatory bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One lakh) with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned with the following conditions:-
(i) the applicant shall make himself available on each and every date fixed in the matter by the court concerned.
(ii) the applicant shall not directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him / her from disclosing such facts to the Court.
(iii) the applicant shall not leave India without the previous permission of the Court and if he has a passport, the same shall be deposited by him before the concerned court forthwith."
The Bench further stated that in case, the applicant does not cooperate in the proceedings of the trial, the present order shall stand automatically recalled/vacated and the applicant shall be taken into custody and that in default of any of the condition(s), the court concerned is at liberty to pass appropriate order(s) for enforcing and compelling the same.
Senior Advocate Anoop Trivedi appeared on behalf of the applicant while Additional Advocate General M.C. Chaturvedi represented the State.
Facts of the Case –
The applicant is Swami Chinmiyanand Saraswati who sought anticipatory bail in the event of arrest for the offences punishable under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC. The victim had met the applicant being resident of Mumuchha Ashram, Shahjahanpur, and was impressed by getting political and spiritual consciousness from the views of the applicant. In the year 2001, she came in his contact and started living in his Delhi residence. She visited many committees and religious functions and started having a different feeling and getting knowledge up to the year 2004. She became the disciple of the accused. She started having faith in him more than in her father and brother.
In the year 2004, she was taken to Parmarth Ashram, Haridwar for various religious ceremonies where the attitude of the applicant changed towards her after which she tried to run away from the said place. In the year 2005, on the strength of the personal guards of the accused, she was detained in a car and brought to Mumuchha Ashram, Shahjahanpur, and kept there under confinement. She did not agree for establishing a physical relationship but with a conspiracy of the cook, some substance was mixed in her food and was given to her after which she became senseless and then under intoxicated condition, the accused despite opposing it, raped her. She became pregnant twice but the pregnancy was aborted and she got assaulted during pregnancy.
In the year 2012, a chargesheet was filed against the accused, and thereafter he was granted bail six months post his arrest in 2019 by the High Court in 2020.
The counsel for the applicant argued that the applicant has been falsely implicated in such a case and that he is an old and infirm person aged about 75 years having several sicknesses. It was also argued that the applicant has no criminal antecedents.
The counsel for the State opposed the prayer of the applicant. The High Court in this regard noted, "Learned counsel for the State although opposed the prayer for anticipatory bail but could not dispute the factual position with regards to protection granted to the applicant during the pendency of investigation, the fact that the State Government has decided to withdraw the prosecution of the applicant and further that the applicant is 75 years of age and is associated with various educational, religious and medical institutions. The matter requires consideration."
The Court also directed that a notice be issued to the opposite party through registered post A.D. and through C.J.M. concerned returnable within 3 weeks and the steps shall be taken within the same time.
Accordingly, the Court granted anticipatory bail to the accused.
Cause Title - Swami Chinmiyanand Saraswati Pupil v. State of U.P. and another