Mutt succession row: Nithyananda gets stay on court order

Justice K Murali Shankar passed the interim order on a revision petition, filed by godman Nithyananda, against the lower court order.
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. (File photo)
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. (File photo)

MADURAI:  The Madras High Court Madurai bench stayed an order passed by the principal sub-court of Madurai in July, which declared Sri La Sri Harihara Gnanasambanda Desika Paramachariya Swamigal as the 293rd Madathipathi of Madurai Adheenam.

Justice K Murali Shankar passed the interim order on a revision petition, filed by godman Nithyananda, against the lower court order. In his petition, Nithyananda stated that he was named the 293rd pontiff of Madurai Adheenam by the 292nd pontiff, late Sri Arunagirinathar, on April 27, 2012. He added that he underwent necessary rituals like the ‘aacharya abhishegam’, which he said, are irrevocable.

“Due to the instigation of some people, however, Sri Arunagirinathar later filed a civil suit in 2012, to nullify the deed that named me his successor,” he added. Both Arunagirinathar’s suit and a subsequent suit filed by Nithyananda, in connection with the issue, are still pending.

After Sri Arunagirinathar’s demise in August 2021, Sri Harihara Gnanasambanda Swamigal assumed office as the 293rd pontiff of the Adheenam, and filed an application before the said lower court to substitute his name with Sri Arunagirinathar’s in the latter’s suit.

Noting that Nithyananda has not responded to notices despite having got sufficient time, the principal sub-judge allowed Sri Gnanasambanda’s application and added his name to the suit in the capacity of the 293rd pontiff, on July 25. Challenging the same, Nithyananda filed the revision petition.

Nithyananda claimed that the principal sub-judge should not have passed the order merely on the grounds that he had failed to file his counter statements, considering the issue of appointment is sub judice. He requested the high court to stay the lower court’s order and subsequent proceedings till the disposal of the current revision petition.

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