After 52 days of police and judicial custody, sex scandal Swami Nithyananda accused of rape, criminal intimidation and cheating, was released from the prison in Ramanagaram on Conditional Bail on Friday.
Nithyananda was caught in sleezy video footage indulging sexual activities with actress Ranjitha at his Bidadi Ashram in Bangalore.
The alleged video was aired in leading TV channels. While the actress admitted giving massage to the Swami, she rejected allegations of having sex with him.
The controversial godman was released after he furnished a personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh and two sureties of Rs. 1 lakh each as directed by the Karnataka High Court. On Friday, the High Court had allowed Nithyananda bail application and he has been asked to surrender his passport.
The high court also has ordered him not to preach or teach discourses until further orders. However, Nityananda can practice yoga.
Nithyananda’s counsel Shyam Sundar furnished the papers related to the Rs. 1 lakh bond, the sureties before the Ramanagaram Magistrate Pushpavati. Following her order, the Ramanagaram Prison officials set Nithyananda free.
It was a Poorna Kumbha welcome on Saturday evening for Swami Nityananda who spent 52 days in Ramanagaram sub-jail before returning to his Nityananda Dhyanapeetam Ashram near Bidadi. As he entered in a convoy, devotees held water-filled vessels on rice, which he touched before entering the temple within the ashram.
After high drama at Ramanagaram court, kept specially open from 12 noon till 5pm so his bail formalities could be completed, he finally emerged from the jail around 6.15pm. On Friday, the Karnataka High Court granted him conditional.
With folded hands and his trademark smile, he got into a waiting car amid tight security. Speaking to reporters after his convoy entered the ashram Swami Bhaktananda, who also was arrested along with Nithyananda, said: “The swamiji would performing Pancha Thapasya on Sunday.” In this ritual, he will sit under the sun, surrounded by fires on four sides. During this period, he will have only one meal.
His devotees Nitya Priyananda and Nitya Shanthananda told mediapersons the devotees were happy to be in the presence of their master. “Our prayers have been answered. Devotees have stood by the ashram in testing times and we are thankful to them. We’re eager to take up social work which had stopped because the swamiji was not in the ashram,” they said.
Asked about the court asking Nityananda not to teach or preach, they said they couldn’t comment on the court decision. Asked if it was a matter of concern, they answered affirmatively saying devotees came to the ashram seeking guidance from swamiji and asking if the swamiji could continue to guide them.