Prof HS Sabharwal (59), head of the department of Political Science at Madhav College in Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh, was attacked by a mob of 25-30 students on August 26, 2006 at the college premises when he cancelled the students' council elections. He died at the hospital next day.
The prime witness of the entire episode, Komal Singh Sengar, a peon of the college, saw the mob attacking the professor and also saw that no one came forward to help him, later could not identify the accused.
The Ujjain police filed a chargesheet against six students before thesession court of Ujjain in 2007. However, Himanshu Sabharwal, the son of Prof Sabharwal sought the transfer of the case outside the state as the accused belonged to the students' wing of the ruling BJP in the state and the BJP-ruled administration was sparing no efforts in shielding them.
Himanshu was also insisted for a re-investigation in the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation as he was not satisfied with the 'shoddy'investigation carried out by the state police.
The Supreme Court transferred the case from Ujjain to Nagpur on March 12, 2008 where BJP was not in power. The order came on a petition by the son of the slain professor, Himanshu, who apprehended that a free and fair trial was not possible in Madhya Pradesh. The court directed the then district and session judge of Nagpur, TV Nalavade either to hear the case personally or allot it to some other district judge and ensure a time-bound trial.
Sabharwal case was first fixed at Nagpur for hearing on April 28, 2008 before the session judge BA Sheikh. Later the special Judge, Nitin Dalvi heard the case.