HC Rejects Nithyananda's Petition Claiming Damages

HC Rejects Nithyananda's Petition Claiming Damages

The Karnataka High Court today disposed of a writ petition filed by controversial self styled godman Nityananda seeking Rs 10 crore as damages to his ashram property from the state government during search and seizures carried out last month.

Justice Ajit Gunjal disposed of the petition on the grounds that the "Nithyananda Dhyanapeetham" Ashram in Bidadi had already been unsealed and returned to Nithyananda.

The court observed "the propriety of the seizure will be decided in appropriate proceedings later, if initiated."

Senior Counsel Ravi B Naik represented Nithyananda.

Nithyananda, in his June 14 petition, sought Rs 10 crore damages from Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Ramnagar District Deputy Commisioner among others and a regional news channel as damages to his property from the government during search and seizures at the Ashram.

He also submitted that though there was an injunction against news channels not to broadcast anything defamatory, the particular regional channel had done so violating rules.

The godman, already facing criminal charges, including rape and out on bail after his arrest in 2010, courted fresh trouble when police on June 8 booked him and his followers for allegedly assaulting a mediaperson at a press meet at his ashram at nearby Bidadi.

Searches were conducted in the ashram last month in the wake of allegations that objectionable activities were taking place there and a complaint by a US-based woman that she was sexually abused by Nithyananda for five years.

On June 19, Nithyananda's ashram was unsealed, a week after it was locked on orders of Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who had also ordered his arrest following the alleged assault on mediapersions there.

Meanwhile in Madurai, a local court ordered its officials to issue summons to Nithayananda and Arunagirinathar Swamy, head of the over 1500-year-old Shaivite Madurai Adheenam, as a public notice in a newspaper as both had not received it.

Additional District and sessions judge Rajasekaran, hearing a petition by Manivasagam and Sami Thiagarajan, had ordered issue of summons to both pontiffs but as the summons were not received, he ordered they be issued as a public notice in newspapers.

Contending that Nithyananda was not qualified to be the junior pontiff of the Adheenam as he is facing several criminal charges, they prayed that the court intervene and quash his appointment.

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