The Madras high court has rejected the anticipatory bail plea of former disciple of controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda and another person, who apprehended arrest in connection with a blackmail complaint.
The complaint by one Nithya Atma Prabhananda had accused the duo -- Lenin alias Dithya Dharmanantha and K Kumar -- of having blackmailed Nithayananda using a video film showing the godman in a compromising position with an actress.
Dismissing bail applications filed by Kumar and Lenin, who had earlier claimed to have shot the video, which led to the arrest of Nithyananda early last year, Justice Palanivelu said there were prima facie materials available against the petitioners, showing that they participated in the demands made on the swami.
Granting anticipatory bail to them at this stage could hamper further investigation. Besides, there was every likelihood of them tampering with witnesses, the Judge said and dismissed the anticipatory bail applications.
Investigation of the case has been transferred to the crime branch-CID of the Tamil Nadu police.
Nithayananda, who has his ashram near Bangalore, was arrested in Himachal Pradesh on criminal charges including rape after the controversial video was telecast by TV channels. He was later released on bail.