‘Transfer Trial to Bengaluru’: Nithyananda Rape Case Whistleblower
Nithyananda rape case whistleblower seeks transfer of case to a different court.
Lenin Karuppan, Nithyananda's close aide turned whistleblower, has filed a petition in the Bangalore High Court seeking transfer of the trial from Ramanagar to Bengaluru.
Sources told The Quint that the petition to transfer the case was in light of the fact that the Ramanagar court is ‘intimidating him and not allowing him to finish his statements.’
The high court has issued a notice to all parties concerned (government, state police, advocates), seeking a response about the whereabouts of Nithyananda by 12 December. Technically, the CID too is answerable since they are handling the case.
The case in question was filed by Karuppan in 2010, charging Nithyananda with rape (Section 376), unnatural sex (Section 377), cheating (Section 420), criminal abetment (Section 114) among other charges.
The source's statement to The Quint is reproduced below in full:
"Today, in the Bangalore High Court, a petition filed by Lenin Karuppan seeking transfer of trial from Ramanagar to Bangalore came up for hearing in court number 10 before Justice G Narendar. The court has issued notice to the State of Karnataka to inform the court about the whereabouts of ‘accused number 1’ Nithyananda. The court told the prosecutor that the allegation is against the State and therefore State must answer the question ‘where is accused number 1?’. Notice was also issued to other respondents in the case, which is Nithyananda and his co-accused. The matter is posted next on 12 (December) for reply from the State of Karnataka about the whereabouts of Nithyananda."
On intimidation by the Ramanagar court, the source, in his statement added:
"In the Ramanagar Third Additional Sessions Court, the trial proceedings for Nithyananda rape case continued today. Complainant Lenin through his advocate wanted to file an application to the Court to issue Non-Bailable Warrant against Nithyananda for skipping 43 hearings and now having fled the country. However, Court did not allow his application to be filed. The prosecutor raised objections to absence of ‘accused number 1’. But the Court allowed his exemption petition and permitted his absence once again. Lenin requested the court before giving his statement/evidence that he wished to do it in the presence of 'accused number 1’. But the Court rejected it saying he has no right to ask for it. Meanwhile, the Court was informed that Lenin has filed a Transfer Petition in the High Court. In spite of the pending Transfer Petition, the Court insisted that Lenin must give his evidence today, failing which the judge will initiate contempt proceedings against Lenin. Even though he is suffering from severe back pain from standing all day in Court, Lenin recorded his evidence. Matter is posted to continue tomorrow."
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