In a shocking turn of events in the rape case against BJP leader Chinmayanand, the Allahabd High Court has granted him bail, even as it cast aspersions on the intentions and actions of the survivor. A 23-year-old law student had accused Chinmayanand of prolonged sexual exploitation while she was a student of an institute run by him.
But the shocking judgment delivered by Justice Rahul Chaturvedi makes several comments that could be construed as survivor shaming. The order reads, “A girl, whose virginity is at stake, not uttering a single word to her own parent or before the Court regarding the alleged incident, is an astonishing conduct which speak volumes about the ingeniousness of the prosecution story.”
The judgment also says, “It is also noticeable that there is also nothing on record that during the period of the alleged atrocities committed upon Miss “A” she made any complaint or even any whisper to her family members against the accused applicant, therefore, at this juncture, this Court draws its conclusion that it was a complete matter of quid pro quo but over a span of time the greed for extracting “more”, she along with her accomplices seems to have advanced for hatching a conspiracy against the applicant and tried to black mail him for ransom, through the obscenic video clips recorded by herself.”
Not only does this play into the cultural obsession with virginity, but also presumes that the survivor was in a state of mind to share the story of her abuse with parents in a conservative country where any conversations about sex, let alone sexual assault are either discouraged or carried out in hushed tones, thereby adding elements of shame to the narrative. It also completely disregards how the girl was allegedly constantly under surveillance and was taken to Chinmayananda by his hired muscle men. She could only get her story out when she managed to get away from her alleged abuser.
Comments on survivor’s relationship with her father
The order also makes some rather odd remarks about the survivor’s father saying, “It appears from the text of the FIR, lodged by father that there was no direct contact between the daughter and her father. The relationship between father and the daughter seems to be quite strange as they were having no direct contacts and were alien to each other and the father was taking stock of the situation of his daughter through her facebook account.”
It goes on to say, “The gist and substance of CC No. 442 of 2019, lodged on 25.08.2019 derives that it was got registered as a contrivance only to malign the stature and status to the extent of assassination of the applicant’s character. Fortifying the aforesaid narratives of the allegations, it is contended that soon thereafter sensing some rat in the dirty ragged story, father of Miss “A”- ****** lodged CC No. 445 of 2019 on 27.08.2019 in a foxy manner and design, two days after the aforesaid FIR, enrolling applicant as accused and slapping all sort of malicious allegations upon him to reduce his high reputation into ashes. To build up mountain of his argument, learned counsel for the applicant submitted that the complainant of the aforesaid FIR, even has diced his daughter Miss “A” to win the dirty game for the sake of monetary and material gains.”
This not only shames the survivor, but also casts aspertions on her father’s intentions. This once again plays into the narrative popularised by misogynists that rape cases are just a means for women to extort money from men.
Brief background of the case
On September 20, self-proclaimed holy man, former Union Minister and BJP MP Chinmayanand, was arrested and remanded to judicial custody following allegations of sexual exploitation by a female student of an educational institution run by him.
The accusations were made by a law student from Chinmayanand’s SS Law College in a video she posted on social media on August 23. He was arrested on charges of stalking, criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and sexual intercourse by a person in authority (Section 376C).
But the accused made counter allegations of blackmail against the survivor and merely a day after a local court agreed to hear her plea for protection from arrest, the survivor was arrested.
The entire bail order may be read here: