On Thursday, the Supreme Court has set aside the Allahabad High Court’s order that allowed the former Union Minister and BJP leader Chinmayand to seek a certified copy of the victim’s statement recovered under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The bench headed by Justice UU Lalit while allowing the appeal filed by the law student which challenged the order passed Allahabad High Court, thereby overruled the 7th November order of the Allahabad High Court that had allowed the application filed by Chinmayanand seeking a certified copy of the statement of the victim, recovered under the appropriate sections of Cr.P.C.
The Petitioner had in the Special Leave Petition filed in 2019 contended that the Allahabad HC’s direction which granted a copy of the victim’s statement before the filing of the charge sheet was contrary to law and may have far-reaching effects. Subsequently, on 16th November 2019, the Apex Court issued a notice in the plea and granted a stay on the operation of the impugned order, till its final disposal.
According to the petition, the student had made a detailed complaint to the SIT in September. However, FIR was not registered on her complaint, forcing her to approach the High Court’s Monitoring Bench in this regard.
Subsequently, the top court had constituted the Special Investigation Team, headed by Inspector General of Grievances Naveen Arora to investigate the rape allegations. Following the same, Chinmayanand was arrested by SIT and sent to jail on 21st September 2019. Meanwhile, the student was also booked on alleged charges of extortion against Chinmayanand, however, she was later granted bail by the High Court on 4th December 2019.
On 3rd February 2020, an Order was passed by Justice Rahul Chaturvedi, granting bail to Chinmayanand, making unusual observations in the bail order to the effect that the sexual intercourse was consensual and that both the parties were ‘using each other’.
In the present appeal, the Petitioner submitted that the High Court’s reliance on the judgment rendered in Raju vs. State of U.P. & Ors., 2012 Law Suit (All) 723, was flawed inasmuch as the same was a reference to an approach that was adopted prior to the amendment of Cr.P.C in 1973 and that the criminal jurisprudence had seen an overhaul since then.