In a blow to controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Ramanagara sessions court in Karnataka to go ahead and frame charges against him. The court has asked for a speedy trial in the case.
The apex court said that the trial court should only take into account the documents submitted by the prosecution in the chargesheet while framing of charges.
Speaking to TNM, advocate Ashwin Vaish representing the victims said, “The Supreme Court has directed the trial court to follow its directions as per its order in the Debendra Nath Padhi case. In that case, the SC had said that at the stage of arguments and charges, the trial court is not supposed to look into the defence of the accused but only the documents mentioned in the charge sheet.”
“The court has said that unless a document provided by the defence is of sterling quality which is not disputed by anybody, the court is not bound by it,” he added.
Nithyananda's lawyers have been trying to introduce various documents and 'evidences', thereby delaying the trial.
The Ramanagara Sessions Court will hear the case on January 2.
44-year-old Nithyananda faces charges of sexual assault, rape, cheating and criminal intimidation against him.
Lenin Karuppan, a former disciple and a man who had exposed the controversial figure and registered a complaint with Chennai police in 2010.
A case under sections 295 A (insulting religious belief), 420 (cheating), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 506 (i) (criminal Intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Nithyananda in 2010 by Ramanagara police after the case was transferred to them.
Till date, Nithyananda has been arrested twice and got bail from higher courts and successfully delayed the start of trial.
Following this, the victims and the Karnataka government approached the apex court for justice.
“Although the trial court rejected the documents and claims made by them, they managed to get a favourable judgement from the Karnataka High Court which allowed Nithyananda to be out on bail,” a victim told TNM.
“Nithyananda got a test done in a private hospital which said he was impotent .But after the Supreme Court ordered a proper medical report, the test conducted by Victoria Hospital confirmed that he is not impotent. He also claimed that the video of him with a woman disciple (Ranjitha) was not authentic and provided other supporting documents to the court seeking discharge,” the victim added.