Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Supreme Court grants bail to Tamil Nadu godman Shiva Shankar Baba in POCSO case

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The Supreme Court grants bail to Tamil Nadu godman Shiva Shankar Baba in POCSO case subjecting him to not use social media like YouTube, Facebook and other platforms to dissuade people from approaching authorities if they have complaints.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Justice B.R. Gavai asked the godman not to enter Tamil Nadu.

He was arrested by the Crime Bureau Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) in New Delhi in June 2021 after a few students from the residential school made complaints of sexual abuse by him.

Police had earlier registered cases against Siva Sankar Baba for allegedly sexually abusing school children. Based on the complaint lodged by a respective victims, who have alleged that Shiv Shankar misbehaved with one of the victims in 2015 and with the other victim later in point of time, the criminal machinery was set in motion by the registration of the case against him.

On August 17, 2021, the Madras High Court dismissed two bail petitions filed by self-styled godman.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Dhandapani pointed out that in spite of the digital explosion and awareness of the public with regard to the perversion that is meted out to women folk, which has spread to the nook and corner of the globe not only through the digital media, but also through the print media, yet it is lamentable that the nocturnal nature of the predators to satisfy their lust engulf the women folk.

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“The facts that have crystallised from out of the investigation leaves this Court shocked at the manner in which the common man, in spite of his intellect and faculties, is, day-in and day-out, being taken through the rigmarole of being brainwashed by the so-called persons, who, under the guise of spiritual awakening and intellectual liberation, commit perverted acts on the women folk, as is alleged in the present complaints. It is yet more shocking that such acts, of late, are being perpetrated by the so-called godmans and also teachers, who are the spiritual and intellectual minds of the common man. Yet, the said godman and teachers, unmindful of their position and the pedestal in which they are placed by the public, to satisfy their lust, prey on their devotees/students, thereby tarnishing the image of the genuine noble minded souls, who have invested their lives for the spiritual and intellectual upliftment of the common man.”

The Court, resonating its mind one step further, feeled that the godman, under the guise of popular support from the persons at the helm of affairs and also with the support of their aides, who, in total abstinence to their normal intellect, fall prey to the guiles of the said persons, not only yield themselves, but also make other devotees yield to the evil minded acts of such persons. The act of such persons, both godman and teachers, has boomeranged to such an extent that the once noted noble profession of teachers and the divine position of godman are belittled by unscrupulous persons and the truly genuine spiritual souls have been placed under a scanner, thereby demeaning their status. The political and money power also acts as a catalyst in these persons crystallizing their evil intentions and yet maintaining their social status only due to the tendency of the common man, who, without due diligence to their intellect and intelligence fall at the feet of such persons to gain spiritual salvation and intellectual emancipation.

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The Madras High Court went on to observed that this case is one such example of how the alleged perverted acts of the petitioner, who is a self-styled godman, has created a havoc in the society, which is witnessing this incident on the heels of the incident, which was committed by certain teachers against their students. In fact, the victim has pointed out in her complaint that only due to the complaint given by a victim as to the incorrigible act committed by the teacher in the school, had given the complainant the courage to come out in the open to point a finger at the petitioner. In the present case, the allegation is that the petitioner has been involved in perverted acts against his devotees, who are none other than his students in the spiritual arena. However, the petitioner, both as a godman and a teacher has indulged in these wicked acts, not only against his devotees, but equally among his students, who study under him in the schools run by him.

It is reiterated by the Court that of late our society has been a hapless witness to the mushrooming of self-styled Godmen and Gurus who hold out promises of deliverance or salvation to the people who look upon them for answers for all their inner struggles, who are being driven to the point of despair and despondency. The society that is all pervasively influenced by myriad religious people, become invariably susceptible to machinisations at the hands of the phoney Gurus. The Society’s collective gullibility in matters of faith come in handy for the fake Godmen and the so-called spiritual Gurus for exploitation to the hilt. The reverential faith reposed in such spurious Gurus by their multitude of minions and betrayed at the eventual exposure of their wickedness hid behind the mask of spirituality.

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“Unfortunately, in the meanwhile, many people of all age groups become victims of their own blind faith. The society needs to guard itself against the attempts by such Gurus in exploiting the people’s emotional dependence on external agencies/forces. Ultimately, these struggles and the trepidations of the followers whether find answers or not, perfidious spiritual Gurus, invariably end up exponentially successful in aggrandizement of their wealth, power and influence, which has a cascading detrimental effect on the common man”

-Madras High Court reads.

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