The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday cancelled the bail issued to self-proclaimed godman Nithyananda in connection with the rape case filed against him in 2010. The High Court had granted Nithyananda bail in June 2010.
Justice John Michael Cunha cancelled Nithyananda’s bail after a petition requesting the same was filed by whistleblower Lenin on January 26. The court directed the police to take Nithyananda into custody. His bail bond stands cancelled.
The High Court had issued a notice to Nithyananda on February 1 when it decided to hear Lenin’s petition. On February 3, the Karnataka Police, however, told the court that they were unable to send the notice to Nithyananda as he is currently on a spiritual tour.” Justice Cunha, however, reserved orders on the plea.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner 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 case registered in Gujarat. However, the counsel appearing for the state government said that they did not know the whereabouts of Nithyananda.
Reports indicate that Nithyananda has left India, either on a fake passport or bearing a second passport. Thus, he would not be available for trial, the petitioner informed the court. The High Court, in response, asked, "Why has his presence not been secured before the trial court? Did you (prosecution) file any objections to the exemption granted?” Live Law quoted the judge as saying.
Nithyananda 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 III Additional District and Sessions Court in Ramanagara in Karnataka.
Since the complaint was filed in 2010, Nithyananda has been arrested twice and been granted bail by higher courts, successfully delaying the start of the trial. Ultimately, the victim approached the apex court to seek justice.
The Gujarat police had declared him as wanted as he failed to appear for trial in a child abduction case.