Justice may soon be meted out to controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda, eight years after he has been accused of rape.
In yet another vindication for the whistleblower and survivor, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed criminal revision petitions filed by Nithyananda and his aides. The petition had challenged a February 19 order by a sessions court which sought to frame charges against the self-styled godman and others.
CID’s Investigation Officer Honnappa told TNM, “The High Court dismissed the application filed by the accused. The next hearing of the case is on May 28.”
In December 2017, the III Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ramanagara was asked by the Supreme Court to go ahead and frame charges for a speedy trial. The apex court had then said that the trial court need not consider any documents provided by the accused in its defence.
The petition had sought relief for Nithyananda, and others as it claimed that sexual intercourse between the self-styled godman and the survivor in India and abroad were consensual. But the High Court questioned if the consent was manufactured due to his “dominant position”.
Justice RB Budiha observed, “There are some persons who are said to be in a dominating position over the will of another. So, there was undue influence between them as one is in a dominating position. Therefore, if consent is obtained on account of such a vitiating factor or influence, then it cannot be said to be free consent of a person to the said act.”
44-year-old Nithyananda faces charges of sexual assault, rape, cheating and criminal intimidation against him.
Lenin Karuppan, a former disciple and a man who had exposed the controversial figure and registered a complaint with Chennai police in 2010.
A case under sections 295 A (insulting religious belief), 420 (cheating), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 506 (i) (criminal Intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Nithyananda in 2010 by Ramanagara police after the case was transferred to them.
Till date, Nithyananda has been arrested twice and got bail from higher courts and successfully delayed the start and proceedings of trial.
“The accused with all its influence across institutions have successfully delayed the trial. The files relating to the case are sitting in the High Court office although the court had directed it to be shipped to the trial court. Even when it comes to his advocate, he will unnecessarily delay the trail,” a highly placed source told TNM