By LE Desk

Lucknow, March 27: Former union minister Swami Chinmayanand, who was facing charges of rape and extortion, was acquitted by a special MP-MLA court on Friday, India Today reported.

Swami Chinmayanand was arrested in September 2019 after being accused of raping a law student studying in the Shahjahanpur law college run by the former union minister’s trust.

A case was registered against him under section 376C of the IPC, an offence pertaining to the abuse of one’s position by a person in authority to “induce or seduce” a woman under his charge to have “sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape”.

Chinmayanand also faced charges of stalking under section 354 D, wrongful confinement under section 342 and criminal intimidation under section 506 of the IPC.

The case first came to light after the woman went missing on August 24, a day after she posted a video on social media alleging that a “senior leader of the sant community” was harassing and threatening to kill her.

Her father filed a complaint with the police, accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge refuted by the former union minister’s lawyer who claimed it was a “conspiracy” to blackmail him.

An SIT was constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government on the orders of the Supreme Court in September to investigate the charges levelled by the woman, who was then a postgraduate student at a college run by Chinmayanand’s trust.

The law student was also later charged with trying to extort money from Chinmayanand. The 23-year-old woman and her three friends were booked on Chinmayanand’s complaint that they had demanded Rs 5 crore from him.

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