Right on the heels of self styled godman Asaram Bapu’s rejection of bail plea in a rape case, the Supreme Court expressed concern and displeasure yesterday at another such godman Swami Nithyananda’s unwillingness to subject himself to a medical potency test in a rape allegation.
The case, initiated in 2010 in Karnataka has made no real progress till date due to non co-operation of the accused in the investigation to undergo medical tests to determine whether he is capable of having sexual intercourse and in giving blood and voice samples. Presumably concurring with the legal maxim ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’, the Supreme Court also questioned the delay of the police in carrying out such tests and insisted on not stalling the case further.
Authorized by the Karnataka High Court to interrogate, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed a charge sheet against Nithyanada for offences of rape, unnatural sex, criminal conspiracy and intimidation in 2012 following which Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Ramanagaram directed the accused to undergo the aforementioned tests to arrive at the truth. On appeal, the Karnataka High Court upheld the order of the CJM and directed the accused to co-operate in the investigation.
On appeal to the Supreme Court, however, a bench constituted of Ranjana Desai J.(presiding) and N. V. Ramana, J. , stayed the order of the High Court for the time being directing such tests, on August 5, 2014.
However, remarking yesterday on the unprecedented rise of rape cases being reported these days, the Supreme Court Bench opined that these tests are becoming a necessity and saw no reason to disallow potency tests. It said “Nobody should avoid these tests…Inferences might be drawn from your reluctance to undergo the test.”
It was further aggravated by the stalling of the case for the past four years and warned that this status quo cannot be maintained and that the investigation must be completed. “The case is of 2010 and we are in 2014 and the case is not proceeding…We make it clear it will not go like this”, the Court said.