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The Karnataka Police today told the High Court that self-proclaimed Godman Nithyananda, who has apparently absconded from India, is currently on a spiritual tour.
Last week, the Court had issued notice to Nithyananda in a petition seeking cancellation of bail granted to him in a rape case filed in 2010.
Appearing before Justice John Michael Cunha, counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Ashwin Vaish, stated that the accused Nithyananda had fled the country in order to escape trial proceedings.
He further contended that Nithyananda had been claiming to be in India in his exemption petitions before the trial court. However, he had sought asylum in Ecuador, it was claimed. Vaish further argued that Nithyananda is in possession of a second passport.
Additionally, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Balraj B, the investigating officer in the case, had filed a report before the Court stating that the notice issued last week was served on Kumari Archanananda, an aide o Nithyananda, as he was not present in his ashram. Kumari Archanananda is unaware of Nithyananda’s whereabouts, the police report states.
DSP Balraj further brought to the attention of the Court that Nithyananda was not available at his Bidadi ashram, as he is on a 'Spiritual Tour' currently.
When the Court sought a response to this, the Public Prosecutor appearing on behalf of the State pointed out that Nithyananda’s immediate presence is not required before the trial court right now and that he has not violated any of his bail conditions.
Moreover, the trial is being delayed because of non-cooperation of the petitioner, the Public Prosecutor contended. H further added that if the complainant is aggrieved by the exemption order passed by the trial court, he should challenge that and not seek for cancellation of bail.
After hearing detailed arguments from both sides, the Court reserved the matter for orders, which will be pronounced on February 5, 2020.
Earlier last week, the Karnataka High Court had issued notice to Nithyananda while hearing a plea filed by his former aide, Lenin Karuppan seeking cancellation of his bail granted in a rape case of 2010. In this regard, the Karnataka High Court directed the local police to serve notice to the accused by Monday and and file a report on the same before the Court.
It is reported that the petitioner had requested the Court to cancel the bail granted to Nithyananda for skipping trial, fleeing the country on an expired passport, and making false representations in his exemption petitions to a trial court.
Nithyananda is facing 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).