Sabharwal case fixed for hearing April 28 in Nagpur

April 17th, 2008 - 6:57 pm ICT by admin  

Nagpur, April 17 (IANS) District Judge B.A. Sheikh Thursday fixed the Ujjain professor H.S. Sabharwal’s murder case hearing April 28. The slain professor’s son Himanshu sought ten days to suggest the name of public prosecutor in the case. But April 25, the court will appoint the public prosecutor from among the names suggested by the Madhya Pradesh government and the Sabharwal family.

The Madhya Pradesh government has already suggested the names of special public prosecutor P.K. Sathianathan and assistant public prosecutor V.K. Narsapurkar here.

The trial in the case, earlier transferred by the Supreme Court from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Nagpur in Maharashtra in response to a petition filed by the Sabharwal family, was scheduled to begin here Thursday.

The court granted the request of the four accused students in the case for transfer to Ujjain jail as they have to appear for the university examinations.

It was pointed out on behalf of the accused students that the Madhya Pradesh High Court allowed their plea to let them stay in the Ujjain jail, directing the jail authorities to arrange their transport from the jail to their examination centre.

Sabharwal, a professor, died in the Madhav College of Ujjain Aug 26, 2006, after he was allegedly beaten up by some Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists when he cancelled the university students union elections slated for the day for want of quorum.

While Himanshu and his mother insist that Sabharwal was slain by ABVP activists, Parishad functionaries say some hoodlums attacked the college teacher, after which he died.

After the beginning of the murder case trial in the Ujjain court, the Sabharwal family moved the Supreme Court for transferring the case out of Madhya Pradesh. The family expressed doubts about its free and fair conduct in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state.

The apex court March 12 ordered transfer of the case to Nagpur and directed District and Ssessions Judge T.V. Nalavade either to hear the case personally or allot it to some other district judge and ensure a time-bound trial.

Talking to media persons here Wednesday, Himanshu reiterated his allegations of destruction of evidence, grave interference and application of pressure tactics on part of the Madhya Pradesh government in the case with a motive to save the accused.

“I am going to ask for re-investigation of the entire case and re-examination of all witnesses as the government has badly botched up the case,” he said, adding that the government machinery destroyed clinching evidence like video clippings and a report prepared by the deputy inspector general of police.

Referring to the appointment of a battery of leading lawyers to defend the accused ABVP activists who are not ‘very moneyed’ people, Himanshu alleged it could be possible only because of the backing of the Madhya Pradesh government.

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