Madurai: The Madurai Adheenam (Mutt head) on Thursday denied the charge that he was under the control of controversial godman Nityananda, appointed recently as the 293rd mutt head and that he had been illegally detained.

Responding to a Habeas Corpus Petition by one T Gurusamy Desikar, seeking a direction to police to produce him in person and set him free from 'illegal custody' of Nityananda, he said the HCP had been filed for cheap publicity. He had been meeting devotees, general public, media and had even issued public statements, the adheenam said.

The adheenam,Arunagiri Gnanasambandha Desiga Paramacharya Swami, claimed he was fully empowered to appoint his successor and the filing of HCP "is an abuse of power of law."

He denied the charge that Nityananda was trying to send him away from the country and said he had no plans to leave India.

"The conduct of the petitioner is insulting, scandalous and motivated by malice," he said and sought to dismiss the petition with costs.

The petitioner said an urgent meeting of other Adheenams had resolved to call for removal of Nithyanandha as he is facing criminal charges. But for this the senior Adheenam, whose whereabouts are not known, should be 'rescued' from Nithyananda's control, he said.

The petitioner also referred to rumours that Nityananda was making arrangements to send the adheenam out of India. He could not file a police complaint as the issue required urgent attention. Hence he was filing the petition.

Justices Satyanarayana and D Hariparandhanam posted the case for hearing on Friday.

Nityananda had landed in controversy after a video footage showing him in a compromising position with an actress was telecast by local TV channels in March 2010.

He was arrested on Apr 21, 2010 from Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He was granted bail on June 11, 2010 by the Karnataka High Court.


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