NBW Against Rape-Accused ‘Godman’ Nithyananda Quashed

Controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda has been accused of raping a former disciple.

2 min read
Godman Nithyananda was accused of raping a former disciple. 

Controversial ‘godman’ Nithyananda, who is accused of raping a former disciple, got partial relief from the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday, 16 January. The HC quashed a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him while hearing a batch of five petitions filed by the godman and his associates, including the co-accused in the rape case.

Details of the order are expected to be out at a later time as the observation was made orally in open court. The case will resume at the trial court on Thursday, 17 January, without further delays.

The Third Additional District and Session Court in Ramanagara had begun the trial in the alleged rape case eight years after the FIR was registered in the case in August 2018.

In September, the trial court issued the NBW against Nithyananda as he failed to appear before the court after he was charge-sheeted in June.

Following this, Nithyananda had approached the high court challenging the non-bailable warrant. Wednesday’s order comes after the court had initially reserved its order on the NBW, which had delayed the trial.

Similarly, a petition seeking quashing of NBW issued against accused no 3 (A3) Siva Vallabhaneni was also allowed by the high court.

Nithyananda and five others accused by the disciple face charges 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).

While 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 together, the second accused Gopala Sheelam Reddy alias Nithya Bhakthananda will be tried separately.

While every accused had appeared for trial on the day of framing changes, accused number 2, Gopala Reddy, had failed to appear before the court despite a non-bailable warrant issued against him. According to sources, he is in the US, running a real estate business.

(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)

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