A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday wrapped up the suo motu petition initiated by the judges when the Uttar Pradesh law student went missing last month after accusing senior BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of harassment. But before ending the proceedings on Wednesday, Justice B Banumathi made sure that the young woman and her brother get admission to new colleges to pursue their studies.
The judge also fixed them a hostel. And then gave the young woman some advice.
“Education is very important,” the judge told lawyer Shobha, who it had appointed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, in this case.
“She has got the best of the institution… Ask her to join the institution and study. It is only with education that people can grow in this country,” Justice Banumathi told the lawyer.
The law student had last month posted a video on social media on August 24 accusing “a big leader of the saint society” of threatening her and “destroying the lives of several girls”. When she went missing, her family blamed former union minister Swami Chinmayanand for her disappearance.
Chinmayanand is chairman of the law college, where she studies.
She was eventually traced to Rajasthan on August 30 and produced before the top court. The judges, who had stayed back in court to meet her and assure themselves of her safety, had later also ordered police protection for her and her family. This week, the bench ordered a high-level police probe and asked the Allahabad High Court to monitor the investigation. It also asked the UP government to get the woman, who was doing her masters in law, admitted to another institution.
As the judges reviewed on Wednesday the steps taken to ensure that her studies don’t suffer, the court made it clear that it would not get into the specifics of the case and turned down a request by the young woman to meet the judges in their chamber.
“We kept the hearing today so that her studies is not discontinued. Now the state has offered it. It’s up to them to take the admission or not. We don’t want to detain the matter any further,” the bench said, pointing that the court had shown benevolence in getting her admission in Bareilly, a little less than 100 km from Shahjahanpur where she was enrolled.
The hearing came hours after Swami Chinmayanand, who has denied the charges against him, held his first media conference to contend that the allegations levelled by the woman was part of a conspiracy against him and the educational institutions that he runs.
“There has been an attempt to malign my image and thwart my efforts for elevating the college to the university level. I had even met the state Finance Minister in this regard and was scheduled to meet the Chief Minister. It is clear that some people do not want the college to prosper,” Swami Chinmayanand said.