A trial court in Karnataka's Ramangara on Wednesday issued a non-bailable warrant against self-styled godman Nithyananda in the 2010 rape case against him, based on an application by the Crime Investigation Department (CID). The court also ordered that the personal bond furnished by him be forfeited, and adjourned the hearing to March 4.
The non-bailable warrant comes days after the Karnataka High Court cancelled his bail in the rape case.
Nithyananda is facing a trial under Sections 376 (rape), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly raping a woman disciple at his ashram.
On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court had rejected a plea by Lenin Karuppan, a former disciple of Nithyananda who later became a whistleblower, to transfer the case to Bengaluru, but ordered the Ramanagara court to expedite the trial. Lenin had sought the high courtâs intervention stating that the case was getting delayed in Ramanagara.
While the FIR against Nithyananda was registered in 2010, the framing of charges was completed only in August 2018 as Nithyananda was successful in delaying the course of the trial. Even the framing of charges was done only after the Supreme Court in December 2017 ordered the trial court to expedite the trial.
Nithyananda is also wanted by Gujarat Police in a child abduction case. He, however, has been absconding since June 2018 and is believed to have fled the country and is supposedly in Belize. However, there is no official word on the same. A blue corner notice has been issued against the rape accused man. His organisation on its official website has claimed that he has founded a Hindu nation âKailasaâ with its own flag and a functional government.
The Union Home Ministry had also advised the Karnataka government to seek a red corner notice against Nithyananda so that he can be arrested and extradited to India. Compared to red corner notices, blue corner notices can only be used for âenquiryâ purposes.