The trial court in Karnataka hearing the rape case against controversial godman Nithyananda issued a non-bailable warrant against him on Thursday. This, after Nithyananda failed to appear in court since June 6, the day charges were framed against him and all the other accused in the case.
The Third Additional District and Session Court in Ramanagara had begun trying Nithyananda eight years after an FIR was registered against him, as the godman was successful in delaying trial by approaching higher courts and changing his stance from ‘being impotent’ to having consensual sex with his disciple.
Finally, the trial started at the insistence of the Supreme Court, which instructed the trial court to frame charges against him and conduct a speedy trial.
On Thursday, the trial court observed that Nithyananda was not cooperating with the prosecution as directed by the apex court and even the undertaking given by his counsel was not complied with.
Nithyananda is charged under sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
He had been avoiding presence in court citing religious ritual – Chathurmasa Parikrama – and his advocate claimed that he is in Varanasi.
Other than Nithyananda, the CID has named five of his aides as the co-accused in the case. Gopala Reddy (A2), 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 also be tried in the same case.
On Thursday, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Nithya Sachidananda as he failed to appeared since August 8.
While all the other accused have presented themselves at the time of framing of charges, Gopala Reddy (A2) has remained absconding during the whole process.
Earlier a non-bailable warrant (NBW) was issued against the second accused for failing to appear despite repeated summons on the last date of hearing in June. He is set to be tried separately.