Bengaluru: The Karnataka Police on Monday told the high court that it was unable to serve notices to rape accused Nithyananda as they were given to believe he was on a "spiritual tour".
In its affidavit submitted to court, the police said it was unable to personally issue the notice to Nithyananda. The move came after the court had ordered the investigating agency to serve him notices in connection to a case seeking cancellation of his bail plea.
Deposing for the police, Deputy Superintendent (CID) Balraj B told the court that he gave the notices to one Kumari Archanananda at the Bidadi ashram, who claimed she was unaware of Nithyananda's whereabouts. The aide also filed an affidavit stating she was forced to accept the notice issued on January 31.
Justice John Michael Cunha then pulled up the police, questioning if this was the first time they were issuing summons. He asked the prosecution if this was delaying the case. The judge also questioned the public prosecutor on whether the presence of the accused was necessary at this juncture of the investigation, to which the latter replied that Nityananda's presence in court was not needed.
The prosecutor then shifted the focus to the absence and flip-flop made by the complainant, Lenin, who is also the prime witness in the case, blaming him for the delay in the trial.
But Ashwin Vaish, counsel for the complainant, argued that Nithyananda had fled the country in order to escape trial. While the accused had already received many exemptions through his petition in the trial courts, the High Court had itself granted him bail.
Vaish also mentioned, citing news agency ANI, that the accused had sought asylum in Ecuador, which had been rejected, and could be in possession of two passports.
After hearing the detailed arguments, the court reserved the matter for February 5.