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Rape case: Setback for Nithyananda, others as HC dismisses revision pleas

The petitions were filed by Nithyananda Swamy, Siva Vallabhaneni, Ragini Vallabhaneni, Dhanasekar, Jamuna Rani and Gopala Sheelam Reddy.

Published: 20th May 2018 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2018 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

paramahamsa_nityananda_website

Self-styled godman Nithyananda (File)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The High Court has dismissed the criminal revision petitions filed by Nithyananda Swamy and other co-accused in a rape case, on grounds that they have not made out a case to allow their pleas.

The accused had filed the revision petitions challenging the legality and correctness of the order dated February 19, 2018, passed by the III Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ramanagara, wherein their applications seeking discharge from the rape case was rejected. The court had also ordered framing of charges against them.

The petitions were filed by Nithyananda Swamy, Siva Vallabhaneni, Ragini Vallabhaneni, Dhanasekar, Jamuna Rani and Gopala Sheelam Reddy.

In the judgment dated May 16, Justice R B Budihal said, "At the stage of framing of the charge, the court cannot look into the truthfulness, veracity of the case of the prosecution by making a detailed enquiry, but the court after considering the materials shall form whether the said material will give a strong suspicion that the accused have committed the said offence or not."

While dismissing the pleas, the court narrated the investigation report wherein it was stated that Nithyananda's personal assistant was instrumental in taking the victim to the swami's room on the pretext of cleaning it. Then Nithyananda asked the victim to latch the door from inside, told her to come near him and hugged her after which he committed sexual intercourse, the court said.

This statement goes on to show that like this, at various stages, during programmes of Nithyananda organised in India as well as abroad, he used to have sexual intercourse with the victim, the court said.

The senior counsel on behalf of Nithyananda and other accused contended that there was no sexual intercourse by Nithyananda with the victim, and even if there was any such sexual intercourse, it was consensual. The court observed that it can be said that if consent is obtained under undue influence, it cannot be said to be free consent of a victim.

"There are some persons who are said to be in a dominating position over the will of another. So there was undue influence between them as the one is in dominating position. Therefore, if consent is obtained on account of such vitiating factor or influence, then it cannot be said to be free consent of a person to the said act", the court said.

Therefore, unless and until, there are glaring defects in the order of the learned Sessions Judge, this court cannot interfere in the said order in a routine manner as the jurisdiction of a revisional court is limited.

Therefore, the revision petitions filed by Nithyananda and others are dismissed. However, the court set aside the charges attracting Section 212 of the IPC against one Gopala Sheelam Reddy aka Nithya Bhakthananda.



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