Karnataka High Court issued summons to self-styled controversial godman Nithyananda and the state government after a petition was filed by Lenin Karuppan seeking cancellation of his bail. Lenin had approached the Karnataka HC seeking cancellation of bail of Nithyananda for skipping trial and fleeing the country on an expired passport, and also making false representations in his exemption petitions to the Trial Court as if he is still in India.
Justice John Michael Cunha of Karnataka HC, on Friday, hearing the counsel for the complainant, ordered that notice to be issued to the respondents (State and Nithyananda) and posted the matter for hearing next week. Nithyananda, who is believed to have fled the country in August 2018, had not appeared for 43 consecutive hearings.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, petitioner Lenin Karuppan said, "Nithyananda has been missing for one and a half years and has skipped 43 hearings. Sources and media reports have indicated that Nithyananda left the country and sought refugee status in Ecuador. Since he has run away from the trial we approached the high court to cancel his bail."
The Gujarat police, in a charge sheet submitted to the court, said that Interpol has issued a blue corner notice against Nithyananda and they are working on getting it escalated to a red corner notice. While a blue corner notice is issued to ascertain the person’s exact location or whereabouts, a red corner notice is to arrest a person wanted in a criminal case.
Legal experts say that if the Karnataka HC cancels Nithyananda’s bail, it will strengthen the case for a red corner notice to be issued against the rape accused. Also, if he is brought back to India, then escaping under the pretext of bail will not be possible for him.
Nithyananda is facing charges in several Indian states, primarily in Karnataka where he faces a host of charges including rape (376), unnatural sex (377) cheating (420), criminal abutment (114). In Gujarat, Nithyananda is booked under Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) and Section 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days).