Nityananda disciple denied bail

Chennai: A court here today dismissed the anticipatory bail pleas of a former disciple of self-styled godman Nithayananda and his brother apprehending arrest in connection with a complaint relating to the recording of a video footage showing the godman in a compromising position with a Tamil actress.

Sri Nithya Dharmananda alias K Lenin, who had claimed to have shot the controversial video footage, and his brother K Kumar had filed applications for anticipatory bail, which were dismissed by Principal Sessions Judge P Devadass. The video-cassette, it was alleged, was used to blackmail the godman and his ashramites.

A complaint had been lodged by one Nithya Atmaprabhananda with the city police about the alleged video filming and blackmail. Investigation of the case has been transferred to the crime branch-CID of the Tamil Nadu police.

Stating that the petitioners were allegedly the brain behind the whole the murky affair, the Judge said they had been charged with trying to extract money by blackmailing and cheating. Pointing out that the investigation in the case was on, the Judge said taking into consideration the facts and circumstances, their custodial interrogation had become necessary.

Nityananda, who has an ashram near Bangalore, was arrested in Himachal Pradesh last year after the controversial video was telecast by TV channels. He was later released on bail.