HC diposes of Nithyananda's petition claiming damages



Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court today disposed of a written 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.

PTI