New Delhi, Mar 12: The Supreme Court today transferred the trial of professor H S Sabharwal murder case from Ujjain to Nagpur in Maharashtra. A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam passed the transfer orders on a petition filed by Himanshu Sabharwal, son of the slain professor.
The apex court also directed the Nagpur court to complete the trial expeditiously within eight months. Earlier, the petitioner had alleged that the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh was sparing no efforts in shielding the culprits who belong the student wing ABVP of the BJP. According to him, most of 51 prosecution witnesses examined so far in the case have turned hostile as they were being intimidated and pressurised by the accused and the state police. The apex court also permitted the petitioner to approach the trial court for recalling the witnesses.
According to Mr Sabharwal, the accused were getting VIP treatment in Madhya Pradesh jails and recently state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan remained with Vimal Tomar, an accused in the case, for over half an hour in hospital. The petitioner has also contended that free and fair trial was not possible in Madhya Pradesh till the BJP was in power.
In all, more than eight accused including Rajeev Ranjan Akela and Vimal Tomar both ABVP leaders are facing trial for thrashing professor Sabharwal to death for cancelling the college students' union elections.
Sabharwal, who was beaten to death in 2006, was a professor in Madhav college in Ujjain.