In another development in the rape case against controversial 44-year-old self-styled godman Nithyananda, the court in Karnataka has asked CID to split the present case into two separate chargesheets before the next date of hearing.
Nithyananda is accused of raping a woman disciple for close to five years during her stay in the ashram under the garb of spirituality. Nithyananda will now face trial under Sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Nithyananda, Shiva Vallabhaneni alias Nithya Sachidananda (A3), Danasekaran alias Nithya Sadananda (A4), Ragini alias Maa Nithya Sachidananda (A5) and Jamuna Rani alias Maa Nithyananda (A6) will be tried in the same case.
While, the charges remain same, the second accused Gopala Sheelam Reddy alias Nithya Bhakthananda will be tried separately.
The Third Additional District and Session Court in Ramanagara district on Wednesday came to this decision after Gopala Reddy (A2) failed to appear before court despite a Non-Bailable Warrant issued against him The court further directed a miscellaneous criminal complaint to be registered against Gopala Reddy.
On Wednesday, all the other accused were absent after their exemption petition was accepted by the court. On June 6. the trial court had framed charges against all the accused after eight years and multiple twists and turns in the case.
So far, all the accused including Nithyananda has approached higher courts including the Supreme Court to delay the trial. Nithyananda has also changed his stance many times, first he had claimed to be innocent and then later said they had consensual sex.
TNM has also learnt that the A2 and A5 have approached the Supreme Court once again to delay the trial proceedings. The next date of hearing has been fixed on July 16.