Godman moves High Court against search and seizure order

The Ramanagaram JMFC on Thursday granted conditional bail to Nithyananda, arrested on Wednesday for assault on a journalist and a few Kannada activists.

Nithyananda, who was in police custody, was brought in an anti-riot vehicle, ‘Vajra', and produced in the jam-packed court at 3.15 p.m. Judge Komala granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and a surety, Public Prosecutor Mohan Kumar told journalists.

The case was registered under Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code. Meanwhile, Nithyananda filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court, questioning Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda's directive for search and seizure at the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam in Bidadi, and seeking Rs. 10 crore in damages from the government.

Besides Mr. Gowda, the Principal Secretary to the Home Department, the State police chief, the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police of Ramanagaram district, a private Kannada television channel and others have been cited as respondents.

Terming the action “illegal, contrary to the law and without any basis,” the petition sought a directive to the government to immediately revoke the… order and permit him, his disciples and residents of the ashram to use and occupy it. “The Chief Minister, to appease a section of people, has exercised his power in a mala fide manner and directed the police to cause the arrest of the petitioner and seizure of the property.”

“Several land sharks who want to grab valuable land belonging to the ashram are also behind the cheap publicity being made adverse to the interests and reputation of the petitioner,” Nithyananda said.

Our Bangalore Correspondent adds:

In preventive custody, sent to Mysore jail

Though he was granted bail by the Ramanagaram court, Nithyananda was taken into preventive custody and sent to the Mysore Central Jail on Thursday evening.

“We apprehended breach of peace and a threat to his life. There is so much resentment and anger against him that we did not wish to take chances by setting him free,” Bhaskar Rao, Inspector General of Police, Internal Security, told The Hindu.

If Nithyananda was enlarged on bail, there is every possibility that the law and order situation would deteriorate, he said.

“He was produced before the executive magistrate, who remanded him in judicial custody for a day. He will be lodged in the Mysore jail.”

Soon after the Ramanagaram district judge granted him bail, Nithyananda was whisked away to the Deputy Commissioner's office. “We have booked him under Section 151 and 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code and taken him into preventive custody,” Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal said.

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