The Karnataka police on Monday told the High Court of Karnataka that Swamy Nithyananda, who has absconded from India, was on a "spiritual tour".
This was in response to the direction passed by the Court on January 31 to serve notice on Nithyananda in a petition seeking cancellation of bail granted to him in a rape case of 2010.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Balraj B, who is the investigating officer in the case, filed a report before the court stating that the notice issued on Friday was served on Kumari Archanananda, an aide of absconding accused. It was also mentioned by him that Nityananda is not available at the Bidadi Ashram, as he is on a 'Spiritual Tour'.
Kumari Archanananda filed an affidavit stating that the police had forced her to accept the notice after she informed them that she cannot serve the notice to Nityananda, as his whereabouts are not known to her.
Justice John Michael Cuna did not hide his displeasure at the Police.
"Is this the first time you are serving a court summons?. How do you say this is effecting service and complying with directions of the court?. It means that you have forced her to come to the court. You are playing a game", the judge remarked.
The investigating officer immediately said 'Sorry'. However, the court said it would pass appropriate orders on the conduct of the DySP.
Opposing the plea filed by Lenin Karuppan, seeking cancellation of bail granted by the high court, state counsel submitted
"His (Nityananda) immediate presence is not required before the trial court. Moreover, the trial is being delayed because of non-coperation, of PW 1, (Complainant, Petitioner here)."
The counsel for the petitioner replied "Accused is hoodwinking the court. Can the prosecution remain silent when the accused is not available to face the trial?. Failure to serve the court notice is no impediment in cancelling the bail."
State counsel opposed the argument by saying "No bail conditions are violated by the accused. If the complainant is aggrieved by the exemption order passed by the trial court, he should challenge the same and cannot seek cancellation of bail."
The Court later reserved its orders on the plea for cancellation of bail.
Nithyananda went missing from India last November following a case of kidnapping and torture of children in a school run by him in Gujarat. As per reports, he has moved to Ecuador and has set up his own "country" named Kailasa in one of its islands.