Nearly three years after he was allegedly beaten to death, six Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists accused in the case pertaining to the murder of Prof H S Sabharwal in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, were on Monday acquitted by a Nagpur court for lack of evidence.
Vimal Tomar, Pankaj Mishra, Vimal Rajoria, Shashi Ranjan Akela, Hemant Dubey and Sudhir Yadav -- all activists of the sangh parivar affliated-ABVP -- were charged with murder and rioting by unlawful assembly.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Nitin Dalvi, who tried the case after the Supreme Court ordered transfer of trial from the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, observed that the prosecution has 'miserably failed' to prove the case against the accused.
The professor's son, Himanshu, who successfully petitioned the Supreme Court for transfer of the case, claimed that the Sessions judge has noted in his judgement that the accused might be guilty but he could not convict them because of lack of evidence.
His family would challenge the judgment in a higher court, he said.
Himanshu also doubts the forensic tests report, which was conducted in the BJP-ruled Gujarat while the trial was being conducted in the Congress-governed Maharashtra.
The court also did not entertain media reports, which claimed that two crucial witnesses Komal Singh and Manoj Dodia were under pressure to withdraw from their earlier statements, he said.
Himanshu said that since the beginning he has been saying that the BJP government in the state would carry out eyewash in the case as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself said that the killing was merely an "accident".
Meanwhile, Chouhan on Monday said that the court verdict has proved that it was a 'normal accident'. 'I have said earlier that it was a normal accident and the court verdict in the case has also established it,' the chief minister told media persons in Gwalior.
Prof Sabharwal, Head of the Political Science Department of Madhav College, Ujjain, died in August, 2006, after a fracas in the college over student union elections when he was allegedly beaten up by the ABVP activists. He later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.