Supreme Court:  A 3-judge bench of SA Bobde,  CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ has directed a trial court in Ramanagara district of Karnataka to ensure the presence of absconding self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda to face trial in a 2010 rape case. The Court also allowed a plea by K Lenin alias Nithya Dharmananda, former driver of Nithyananda and had filed a complaint against Nithyananda, for cancellation of non-bailable warrants issued against him.

The Court ordered the cancellation of the non-bailable warrants issued against the complainant in the case on the condition he shows up before the trial court in Ramanagara district today itself. He had challenged the Karnataka High Court’s February order where non-bailable warrants were issued against Lenin for not appearing before the court for recording evidence.

“Having heard the counsel appearing for the petitioner and upon perusal of the record, we see no reason to interfere with the judgment and order passed by the High Court, which merely directs the petitioner to give evidence in support of his complaint,”

The Bench also directed that “the concerned trial court shall make every effort to ensure the presence of accused (Nithyananda) to face the proceedings.”

The Karnataka High Court had last month cancelled the bail granted to Nithyananda, even as the state police claimed the absconding godman was on a ‘spiritual tour’. Nithyananda is facing charges of rape and indulging in unnatural sex. He was arrested on April 22, 2010, however, granted bail on June 11, the same year.

[K. Lenin v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 276, order dated 03.03.2020]

(With inputs from ANI)

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