Week's judicial custody for Nithya
Ramanagara court grants bail to controversial godman; DC orders his rearrest
In a dramatic turn of events, self-styled godman Nithyananda was remanded in judicial custody for a week by the Ramanagara Deputy Commissioner V Srirama Reddy, hours after he was released on bail on Thursday.
Reddy cited law and order reasons for Nithyananda’s rearrest. The controversial godman has been charged under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC and lodged at Mysore prison.
Nithyananda was produced before a judicial magistrate earlier in the day and granted bail against a surety of Rs 50,000. He, however, ran out of luck as the police produced him before the deputy commissioner who subsequently remanded him in judicial custody.
Reddy, who is also the district magistrate, was apparently not convinced when the godman repeatedly asserted that he was not the reason for the law and order problem.
The deputy commissioner was also not impressed with Nithyananda’s promise of leaving Bidadi forever and staying in Madurai, once freed.
Fearing commotion and violence, police had made elaborate security arrangements at the district court as well as at the deputy commissioner’s office. A large crowd had gathered outside the court to witness the proceedings against Nithyananda.
The district administration also imposed Section 144 around the court in Ramanagara to prevent untoward incidents.
Sues chief minister
Meanwhile, Nithyananda’s counsel moved the High Court, seeking directions to the State government to return the ashram property seized by it.
The godman has made Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner, Ramanagara and the Superintendent of Police, Ramanagara, as well as a private Kannada news channel respondents in the petition. He contended that the government had no authority to seize property, and demanded Rs 10 crore as damages.
He accused the chief minister, who had earlier ordered the seizure of the Nithyananda Dhayanapeetham at Bidadi, of acting “under pressure from anti-social elements”.
Nithyananda charged the television channels with “violating” the High Court injunction to not relay any defamatory news. Correspondents of a private news channel barged into the ashram and harassed the devotees, the tainted godman claimed, denying that any illegal activity took place in the ashram.
“These activities have hurt the religious sentiments of many people,” he contended and said it was aimed at tarnishing his image. The matter is likely to be heard on Friday.