Madhya Pradesh asked to help prosecutor in Sabharwal trial

August 18th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday ordered the Madhya Pradesh government to help the public prosecutor appointed by the Maharashtra government to try the alleged killers of Ujjain college professor H.S. Sabharwal at a Nagpur court. A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice M.K. Sharma directed the state government to promptly release the payment to the public prosecutor for his services rendered to the Nagpur sessions court in conducting the murder trial.

The bench also asked the Madhya Pradesh government to provide the public prosecutor all the documentary and other evidence, including the video tapes in its custody, for smooth and effective conduct of the trial at Nagpur in Maharashtra.

The apex court ordered the Madhya Pradesh government to properly facilitate the public prosecutor. The plea for this was filed by the slain professor’s son Himanshu Sabharwal, who alleged that the Madhya Pradesh administration was not cooperating with the public prosecutor in conducting the trial at Nagpur.

A teacher at Ujjain’s Government Madhav Inter College, 61-year-old Sabharawal was severly assaulted allegedly by a group of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parshad (ABVP) activists during the student union election on Aug 28, 2006. He later succumbed to his injuries.

His son said in his plea that the Madhya Pradesh government was neither releasing the payment due to the prosecutor nor giving him the evidence gathered by the state police during the probe into his father’s murder.

Himanshu Sabharwal also demanded that a crucial piece of evidence in the form of video footage, shot during the attack on his father by ABVP activists, be given to the public prosecutor.

He alleged that the Madhya Pradesh authorities were not cooperating with the public prosecutor and ignoring an apex court’s order, which had asked the state to provide all necessary help in conducting the trial.

The Supreme Court had shifted the trial to Nagpur in March this year, and also directed an expeditious completion of the trial within eight months.

The apex court shifted the trial on the plea by Himanshu Saharwal that owing to the political links of the alleged murderers of his father with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, the state police was not prosecuting them properly.

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