• Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | September 3, 2014 | 06:06 pm IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered Swami Nityananda to undergo potency test in connection with a 2010 rape case filed against him. Nityananda, had earlier approached the Supreme Court challenging the directive given by the Karnataka High Court that had asked him to take the medical test.

The bench, which was headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, said there is no reason why a rape accused should not undergo a potency test.

Aarti Rao, a former disciple of the Guru, spent five years in Nityananda’s ashram between 2004-2009. She is also one of the principal witnesses in the case against him and had alleged that she had been sexually abused by him for close to five years.

An engineer working in the US, Rao had quit her job and moved back to India to cater to her spiritual needs and to fulfill her desire for social service. Around 2004, she became a follower of the Swami and began working for his mission as a volunteer. However, she claims she later realized that Nityananda was sexually abusing her, at the same time making her think that it was part of Madhura bhava ( or relating with God as beloved , like Radha-Krishna). Rao also found out that there were several other women who had been sexually abused by the Swami, but did not have the courage to speak out fearing dire consequences.

However, she chose to speak out and lodged a complaint against Nityanada alleging sexual abuse.

For her, the Supreme Court’s order on Monday marks the end of a long wait. She told The News Minute that she is very grateful to the High Court and the Supreme Court for directing Nityananda to undertake the potency test.

“The judgment today has come after four long years. But it brings with it a ray of hope. There are so many other victims that have suffered at the hands of Nityananda, and I am sure they will too come out once they realize that he too is not above the law”, stated Aarti.

“Nityananda and his secretaries have been continuously harassing me over the years. It is nothing short of witch-hunting. They have filed several retaliatory cases against me”, she continues.

“But today’s order given by the Supreme Court is proof that no one is above the law, even the rich and powerful. I have full faith that the guilty will not be allowed to go free. Truth and justice will prevail. This is a very positive beginning”.

Commenting on the long, arduous four years that have passed by, she said, “It has been a struggle for me and today I feel worthwhile. I am happy that even after four years the truth is coming out. And this is just the first step”.

Lenin Karuppan, the main whistleblower in the case and the man who reportedly gave the tapes to the media, was a former aide of Nithayananda. Speaking to The News Minute regarding the Supreme Court’s directive dismissing Nithyanada’s pleas for not undergoing the potency test, Lenin said that he welcomed the judgment.

“After so many obstacles, at last it is a significant win for us”, said Lenin.

“I was offered crores to keep shut, I was blackmailed and threatened too, directly and indirectly, but I never gave up. Nityananda and his aides also filed 14 cases against me. But I knew the truth had to come out eventually”, he adds. 

Aarti and Lenin also claimed to have filmed the video of Nithyananda with an actress in a compromising position.

The 36-year-old self-styled godman is facing charges of rape, cheating, unnatural offences and criminal intimidation by some of his former devotees, states a report by Business Standard.

Nityananda, also the founder of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam in Bangalore, was first arrested in 2010 on charges of rape. He is being tried in Bangalore.

The self-declared guru claimed that ‘he is like a child and not capable of having sex ’. A court then ordered him to undergo several medical tests which he challenged in different courts.

The controversy began in 2010 when some local channels ran footage that allegedly had Nityananda and an actress in a compromising position. The channel is said to have claimed that the video is authentic; however, Nityananda’s aides say that the video has been morphed. In a March 2010 interview to Times Now , when asked whether it was him in the video, he neither confirmed or denied the allegations.

He said “There's a lot of misinterpretation, manipulation and morphing. Now, we are working to find out which part was recorded and which was manipulated. When that video was taken, I was in a state of trance.”

Nityananda was released on bail in 2010, after being in jail for around seven weeks. Some of his associates have also been charged with rape.