December 19, 2017
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday warned controversial self-styled god man Nithyananda of initiating criminal proceedings against him in connection with his plea to enter into Madurai Adheenam mutt, a 2500-year-old Saivaite institution in the Temple City of Madurai.
Justice R Mahadevan directed Nithyananda to withdraw the counter affidavit filed by him, seeking to vacate the interim stay imposed by the HC Bench against his entry into the mutt. The judge asked him to file a petition as withdrawn or face criminal proceedings and posted the hearing for January 3.
The HC Bench had in October banned Nithyananda from entering the Adheenam mutt, based on a petition filed by one Jagadhalapradhaban of Madurai, and also restrained him and his followers from interfering with the mutt administration. Nithyananda moved the court against the interim stay, saying since he was anointed as the 293rd pontiff, he enjoys the privilege to be the religious head of the mutt life long and the status cannot be revoked.
Contending his submission, the state government in its reply said his appointment as 293rd pontiff when the 292nd head is alive stands invalid and also pointed out that the present seer Arunagirinathar, who has been serving the Adheenam as its head for the last 35 years, himself has revoked his appointment.
In his petition opposing Nithyananda’s prayer for police protection to help discharge religious and spiritual activities at the mutt, Jagadhalapradhaban accused Nithyananda of declaring himself as the pontiff based on some illegal documents and tried to enter the mutt. He said Nithyananda was expelled from the mutt only after the government’s response that he was not eligible for appointment as seer. Even as the High Court has banned him from going to the mutt, he has filed a petition in the HC with a malafide intention to take over the mutt and its properties, the petitioner said, adding that his entry into the religious institution would spell trouble and cause law and order problems unnecessarily. He also sought for a permanent ban on Nithyananda’s entry into the mutt and his interference in the administration.
It many be noted that Nithyananda was caught in a sex tape scandal in 2010 and is facing charges of rape.