HC stays Nirmal Baba’s arrest, for now
New Delhi: In a major respite for the controversial godman Nirmal Baba, the Patna High Court on Wednesday ordered an interim stay on his arrest and posted the matter for next hearing on June 18.
The High Court passed its order in response to a petition filed by Nirmal Baba challenging the legality of the Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant (NBW) issued by a local court against him.
While announcing the order, the High Court observed that due legal procedures were not followed in the case and no summons or court notices were issued to the godman by the lower court before issuing a NBW against him.
The High Court had on Tuesday reserved its order till May 23.
Nirmal Baba alias Nirmaljeet Singh Narula had moved the Patna High Court after a court in Bihar’s Araria district issued a NBW against him while responding to a complaint filed by Rakesh Kumar Singh alleging that he was cheated by the godman.
The FIR that was filed at a police station in Bihar’s Araria district accuses Nirmal Baba of fraud and cheating.
The court of Araria Chief Judicial Magistrate Satyendra Razak then issued a warrant of arrest on the basis of an FIR filed on April 21 by complainant who alleged that the Baba forced him to pay Rs. 1,000 in three installments between January and March 2011 on promise of fame and fortune.
In his complaint, Singh also sent by courier counterfoils of the deposits of Rs 300 twice and Rs 400 in the Baba's account at the Punjab and National Bank to his Delhi address as sought.
According to Araria Superintendent of Police Shivdeep Lande, the accusation was found prima facie true following which he directed the investigating officer to move the court and seek a warrant of arrest.
On behalf of the godman, one of his follower Vindhyachal Prasad Singh, an advocate, then filed the application in the Patna High Court seeking the quashing of the NBW issued by the lower court.
Meanwhile, a plea seeking directions from the Allahabad High Court to stop the telecast of Nirmal Baba's discourse on various TV channels was also filed yesterday.
Responding to the petition, a division bench comprising Justices Uma Nath Singh and VK Dixit then passed the order directing the Central government's counsel to seek instructions and file its response on a PIL moved by K Saran, a local lawyer.
The petitioner sought direction saying that his discourse was allegedly violated the Cable T V Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and Cable TV Rules 1994.