The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain an appeal filed by Himanshu Sabharwal challenging acquittal of six ABVP activists allegedly responsible for the killing of his father Professor H S Sabharwal in Madhya Pradesh in 2006.
A Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and H L Dattu said that while it sympathised with the victim's family, yet, it would be appropriate if the petitioner approached the high court to appeal against the acquittal on July 13, 2009.
"We are not undermining your grievances. We are sympathising with you. You are free to urge all these points before the high court," the bench observed while directing Himanshu to approach the high court for appealing against the acquittal.
Professor 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 ABVP activists. Later, he succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.
The apex court pointed out that as per procedure the acquittal order of the sessions court should be challenged in the High Court and only thereafter before it.
The bench passed the order after senior counsel K T S Tulsi urged the apex court to entertain the appeal directly on the ground that the accused were powerful and the State police would destroy the evidence.
Tulsi argued that there was a dire need for the apex court to entertain the petition and recalled the Zaheera Sheikh case in Gujarat wherein the Supreme Court had directly intervened and monitored various aspects relating to the investigation and trial in the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.
He said the apex court had earlier personally intervened and shifted the trial to Nagpur in Maharashtra after the family expressed apprehension that they would not get justice as the student leaders belonged to the ruling BJP.
However, the argument failed to convince the apex court, which asked the petitioner to approach the high court for his relief.
On July 13, 2009, the sessions court in Nagpur acquitted all the accused in the case due to lack of sufficient evidence.