Sabharwal case deferred to May 26

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Nagpur, May 15 (UNI) The hearing in the high-profile Prof H S Sabharwal murder case, now being heard in a trial court here, has been deferred to May 26.

Third Ad-Hoc Additional District and Sessions Judge P L Dhale, before whom the case came up yesterday, posted it to May 26 after accepting the record of the trial from the prosecution.

The case came up before Mr Dhale as District Judge II B A Shaikh, who is hearing it, is on leave.

Earlier, Pratul Shandilya, a lawyer based in Jabalpur, appeared personally before the court and gave his consent to function as the special public prosecutor (PP) in the case. He was appointed as special PP after noted lawyer Majid Memon expressed his inability to accept the brief, citing prior commitments.

District Judge T V Nalavade had finalised Mr Memon's name as special PP for the case on April 25 last. As per the directives of the Supreme Court, the Government of Madhya Pradesh had proposed the names of District Government Pleader P K Sathianathan and Assistant Public Prosecutor Vasant Narsapurkar, while Himanshu Sabharwal, son of Prof Sabharwal, had submitted the names of Mr Nikam and Mr Memon.

The case is being heard before the court here after it was transferred from Ujjain to Nagpur on the directives of the Apex court.

Prof Sabharwal died after being allegedly assaulted by activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the premises of Madhav College in Ujjain on August 26, 2006. The assault took place after the college authorities cancelled the elections to the students union on the grounds of insufficient quorum.

The case was being heard by a court in Ujjain, but Mr Himanshu moved the Supreme Court with a plea to shift the case to a court outside MP, saying a fair trial was not possible in that state because it was ruled by the BJP. The apex court had then ordered the case to be shifted to Nagpur.

The six accused in the case are Hemant Dube, Pankaj Mishra, Vishal Rajore, Sudhir Yadav, Shashiranjan Akela and Vinod Tomar.

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