Bengaluru: In more trouble for controversial self-styled 'godman' Nithyananda, a trial court in Karnataka's Ramanagara on Monday dismissed a discharge petition by him and five of his associates in connection with a case of rape.
The trial court also allowed the authorities to frame charges against the controversial 'godman'.
The case will now come up for hearing on February 28.
A case under sections 295 A (insulting religious belief), 420 (cheating), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Nithyananda in 2010 by the Ramanagara Police.
The FIR against the 44-year-old godman was registered only after the case was transferred to the Ramanagara Police.
The Supreme Court had in December 2017 directed the Ramanagara Sessions Court to go ahead and frame charges against Nithyananda and conduct a speedy trial.
Lenin Karuppan, a former disciple, had first exposed the controversial figure and registered a complaint with Chennai Police in 2010.
Since the complaint was filed in 2010, Nithyananda has been arrested twice and granted bail from higher courts.
The godman also succeeded in using his influence in delaying the start of the trial.
It was only after Nithyananda got a favourable decision from the High Court that the victims approached the apex court.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition by Nithyananda seeking to quash the chargesheet against him.
He continued to file petitions to delay the proceedings and submitted documents claiming innocence including a fabricated potency report.
The controversial seer also faces several other legal troubles.
He is also fighting a legal battle relating to his dismissal as a pontiff at Madurai Adheenam Mutt.
Nithyananda was also warned by the Madras High Court that it will issue an arrest warrant if he does not rectify his “misleading” affidavits.
(With Agency inputs)