Self-styled godman Siva Sankar Baba accused of child sexual abuse gets bail

Siva Sankar Baba pleaded that he had several health issues, including cardiac issues, urinary infection and sought bail.
Self-styled godman Siva Sankar Baba
Self-styled godman Siva Sankar Baba
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Self-styled godman Siva Sankar Baba, accused of sexually abusing school children, was given bail by the Supreme Court on Friday, April 8. He was arrested by the Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) in New Delhi in June 2021 after a few students from Sushil Hari International School in Kelambakkam, Chennai - the residential school founded by him - filed complaints of sexual abuse.

According to a report in Puthiya Thalaimurai news channel, the bail was given to him despite strong opposition from the Tamil Nadu government. They had argued that there is a chance that Siva Sankar Baba might try to influence the victims and make them turn hostile. However, the petitioner (Siva Sankar Baba) had pleaded that he had several health issues, including cardiac issues, urinary infection and sought bail.

Hearing the arguments, a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao gave bail to him subject to conditions, including that he should not go to the premises of the school or his ashram, from where complaints were reported. Further, the court has also warned that the bail shall be cancelled if he tries to influence the victims.

In June 2021, multiple FIRs in the case of sexual harassment and abuse of students at the Sushil Hari International School, were registered against Siva Shankar Baba, and the case was transferred to CB-CID. Later the same month, he was arrested in Delhi. He was reportedly admitted to a hospital in Dehradun, Uttarakhand for a heart operation, and when he came to Delhi after getting discharged, he was arrested. The same month, an alumnus of the school Sushmitha, was also arrested for allegedly making students go to his bungalow, where the alleged sexual abuse took place.

In August 2021, Siva Sankar Baba moved the Madras High Court seeking bail, but the court dismissed his petitions after ‘not finding any ground to enlarge the petitioner on bail’. While he claimed that he had no connection with the school and that he just visited the school to deliver spiritual lectures, in his bail application, Siva Sankar Baba has been recognised as the founder of the school. A video on the school’s YouTube channel also identifies him as the founder.

An alumnus of Sushil Hari School had earlier shared her traumatic experience of sexual abuse with TNM. In her testimony, she said, when she was a student of the school, Siva Sankar allegedly made her watch porn on her birthday and forced her to consume alcohol. She also went on to allege that Siva Sankar told her that she should have sex with him so that she does not get sexual thoughts about other boys. 

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