On 5 February, the Karnataka High Court cancelled the bail of a self-styled Hindu Swami of Tamil Nadu, Nithyananda which was granted to him in June 2010, involving a rape case.
The bench headed by Justice John Michael Cunha was hearing the petition filed by Kuruppan Lenin, seeking cancellation of the bail stating that the accused has been skipping the trial continuously. Lenin was the driver of the Nithyananda, who had initially filed a complaint against the accused for various criminal offenses.
Earlier on 1 February, the High Court issued a notice to Nithyananda while it decided to hear Lenin’s petition. However, on 3 February, the Karnataka Police, informed the court that they were unable to send notice to Nithyananda as he is currently on a spiritual tour.
The counsel appearing for Lenin stated that Nithyananda had fled the country, although his passport had been cancelled and a blue corner notice was issued against him by Interpol in connection with a child abduction case registered in Gujarat. On the other side, the counsel appearing for the state government stated that they did not know the whereabouts of the accused.
The court observed that Nithyananda has misled the trial court into believing that he was working towards propagating Hinduism and cancelled his bail. Justice John further directed the trial court to order the arrest of Nithyananda and also to initiate the process of forfeiting the surety and bonds.
Lenin had made the charges against Nityananda after he was embroiled in a controversy regarding purported video footage showing him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress surfaced the internet and various media channels.
The accused is facing trial under sections 376 (rape), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the Additional District and Sessions Court in Ramanagara, Karnataka.
The Gujarat police had declared him as wanted as he failed to appear for trial.