Sunday, May 2, 2010

Swami Nithyananda may have the last laugh

On March 28, 2010 in my post titled Swami Nithyananda-Ranjitha Scandal, I made an assessment of the outcome of the case against Nithyananda when I wrote, “What I just do not understand is the big ‘deal’ or ‘crime’ in these allegations. Indulging in sex with adults with mutual consent is not illegal or a crime under law. If the self-styled godman claims to be a celibate, the exposure only makes him liable for his false claims of celibacy”.

Now, after over a month of dramatic incidents including the arrest of Nithyananda, if what the media reported on 2 May 2010, is to be believed, the charges under IPC sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 377 (unnatural sex offences) are going to fizzle out. To punish an offender under these sections the victims themselves have to come forward and complain against the offender, or give evidence against the offender. This is highly unlikely as no victim is likely to complain against Swami Nithyananda.

A news report says, “The Criminal Investigation Department feels that Nithyananda Swamy, who was caught on camera with Tamil film actress Ranjitha, will technically go free on legal grounds,” because ‘though the visuals imply the duo were in a ‘romantic mood,’ they certainly do not prove rape charges against the swamy”. It also says, though the CID officials ‘are keen on recording statements of Ranjitha, they fear the case will collapse if she does not book charges against the swamy’. In this context, it may be noted that Ranjitha has categorically denied that she was involved in any such act.

What remains then will be charges under some sections of IPC, including 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 290 (punishment for public nuisance in cases not otherwise provided for). The cases under these sections are also bound to have the same fate, if conclusive evidence cannot be produced before the courts.

If the law-enforcing authorities are efficient in their investigations, there is a possibility that new cases may emerge on alleged violations of Foreign Exchange laws, tax evasion, gold-smuggling, misuse of agricultural land on which his Bidadi Ashram is built.

In the case which was registered by forest officials for possessing illegal sandalwood in Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, Swami Nithyananda has already availed bail from the fast track court at Ramanagaram on Friday.

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