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Madras HC reserves order in Nithyananda case


Press Trust of India Chennai
The Madras High Court today reserved its order on a petition seeking a direction to authorities to take suitable and appropriate action against self-styled godman Nithyananda and protect the Madurai mutt.

The petition, filed by Jagathalapradhapan of Madurai, also sought to restrain Nithyananda from interfering with the affairs of the mutt.

When the plea came up, Justice R Mahadevan reserved the order after hearing arguments.

Special government pleader M Maharaja, appearing for the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department, submitted that the petition was maintainable.

"Any person can set a law in motion and make a complaint to the competent authority and the court can also look into the matter. If the court directs the HR & CE, it will oblige and take action," he added.

When the judge asked when Nithyananda was appointed as junior pontiff of the ancient Saivite mutt, the court was informed that it happened on April 12, 2012 and later he was removed on October 19, 2012.

Senior Counsel for Nithyananda said his removal was not proper.

In December 2017, the court had passed interim orders restraining Nithyananda and his disciples from entering the mutt till further orders.

The court had on January 29 warned of issuing arrest warrant against Nithyananda if he failed to rectify the "misleading statements" made in his earlier affidavits that he was the 293rd head of the mutt.

Subsequently, Nithyananda expressed regret before the court for claiming that he was the head of Madurai Adheenam, a centuries-old renowned Saivite Mutt in Tamil Nadu.

Nithyananda was briefly appointed to head the mutt in October, 2012. However, the senior pontiff annulled the appointment later following protests by devotees.

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First Published: Feb 27 2018 | 7:55 PM IST

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