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Chinmayanand case: SIT to probe sexual harassment charges against BJP leader

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Chinmayanand case: SIT to probe sexual harassment charges against BJP leader

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the sexual harassment allegations levelled by a law student on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former minister, Swami Chinmayanand.

The SIT would be headed by a police officer of the rank of inspector general of police (IGP) who would be assisted by the superintendent of police (SP) to probe into apprehensions and charges by the girl.

The Supreme Court has also directed the Yogi Adityanath-led government to transfer the law student to another college so that she could pursue her course. The top court has clarified that it is "not expressing any opinion on the correctness of grievances and apprehensions".

The Allahabad High Court (HC) would also constitute a bench to monitor the investigation.

The Supreme Court, which met the girl on Friday, said that she expressed certain apprehension against the institution and the management. The victim's parents, too, have expressed apprehensions about their and the girl's safety, the court said.

Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh would provide police protection to the girl and her family till further orders.

On Friday, the Supreme Court said the woman law student, who had gone missing after levelling harassment allegations against Swami Chinmayanand and found in Rajasthan, would be kept in the national capital under full security.

The apex court, which directed the Uttar Pradesh Police to produce the woman before it when they were on way to Sahajahanpur from Rajasthan, had an "in-camera" interaction with her. The court later said the student has expressed a desire not to go to her home state, Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Swami Chinmayanand will appear before the Delhi Police in the alleged sexual harassment case, whenever required, his lawyer said.

"Swami is not running away from the case. Presently, he is engaged in spiritual practice. He will definitely appear before the Delhi Police whenever required," Om Singh said.

On being asked if the BJP leader would come forward with his version in the court, Om Singh said, "Chinmayanand will surely put forth his version before the Supreme Court. We have full faith in the apex court. It will give justice to Swami."

(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur and Sanjay in New Delhi)