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Madras High Court dismisses Nithyananda's plea against sub court order

Madurai: The Madras High Court bench yesterday dismissed controversial self-styled godman Nithyanandha Swamy's plea against a sub-court's order barring him from entering Madurai Adheenam Mutt and performing services there.Dismissing his plea, Justice V M Velumani
PTI August 20, 2014 7:02 IST
PTI
Madurai: The Madras High Court bench yesterday dismissed controversial self-styled godman Nithyanandha Swamy's plea against a sub-court's order barring him from entering Madurai Adheenam Mutt and performing services there.

Dismissing his plea, Justice V M Velumani said there was no provision as per Mutt record and custom to appoint the 293rd Atheenam even as the 292nd Atheenam was functioning as the Mutt head.

The judge pointed out that Nithyanandha's appointment as 293rd pontiff had been cancelled by the incumbent Adheenam.  This was done as there was a hue and cry from various sections of devotees and Mutt disciples, the judge said.

There were also qualifications, conditions and eligibility criteria for being appointed as head of Madurai Adheenam and Nithyanandha did not meet those conditions, he said.

Nithyanandha, appointed to the post on April 22 2012, submitted that a seperate case against his termination was pending in the district court. The trial court should have waited till a finding was given on the issue by this court and not stayed his functioning in the Mutt.

He denied charges of the Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) of trying to take over the properties and said they had been levelled though he was not a party before the trial court which stayed his functioning as 293rd pontiff and doing service in the Mutt.

Nithyananda's controversial appointment had led to strong protests from mutt disciples who opposed him on the ground that he was unfit as he faced serious criminal charges, including sex scandal, and filed petitions in courts.

The self-styled godman had first courted controversy after TV channels telecast visuals purportedly showing him in a compromising positition with a Tamil actress, leading to his arrest in 2010. He was subsequently released on bail.