A trial court issued a non-bailable warrant against Nithyananda after he failed to appear in court for the last two months.

 Cops say rape accused Nithyananda absconding arrest warrant pending
news Crime Monday, September 10, 2018 - 18:03

Controversial godman Nithyananda continues to abscond, four days after the Third Additional District and Session Court in Ramanagara issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him.

DySP Honnappa from the Crime Investigation Department, who is also the investigating officer, said that the agency is yet to trace his location. “He is not in his ashram in Bidadi. We are trying to figure out information about his whereabouts, and we will act accordingly,” he told TNM.

Nithyananda is facing trial for allegedly raping his disciple and has been chargesheeted by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Karnataka Police under sections 376 (rape), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

The NBW was issued by the trial court as the 45-year-old rape accused failed to appear in court for the last two months, citing a ritual. He last appeared in court on June 6, the day charges were framed against him. Nithyananda had already succeeded in delaying the start of the trial by approaching higher courts and changing his stance from ‘being impotent’ to having consensual sex with his disciple. Although the FIR in the case was registered in 2010, the trial had started in June 2018 —  that too after the survivor got a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court in December 2017.On Thursday, the trial court observed that Nithyananda was not cooperating with the prosecution as directed by the apex court.

Nithyananda has cited a ritual – Chathurmasa Parikrama – as his reason for his absence from court, and his advocate claimed that he is in Varanasi. In the same case, an NBW has also been issued against third accused Nithya Satchidananda, and he too is absconding and has not appeared in court since August 8.

An NBW was earlier issued against second accused Gopala Reddy for failing to appear in court. He is reportedly in the USA, and he will be tried separately.



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