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A local trial court acquitted all the six accused in Prof H S Sabharwal murder case on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove charges against the accused.

District Judge Nitin Dalvi delivered the judgment this afternoon in a packed courtroom.

Earlier, counsels for the defence and the prosecution submitted their final arguments before the court. While the prosecution pressed for conviction, counsel for the defence contended that there had been no direct evidence linking the accused to Sabharwal’s death.

Therefore, the accused ought to be acquitted, they argued.

Sabharwal’s son Himanshu, who works in Delhi and on whose plea the Supreme Court had directed the case to be shifted to Nagpur, was not present in the court when the judgment was delivered.

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 Himanshu Sabharwal moved the Supreme Court with a plea to shift the case to a court outside Madhya Pradesh, saying a fair trial was not possible in that state because it was ruled by the BJP. The apex court ordered the case to be shifted to Nagpur.

Accordingly, the trial resumed before the sessions court here on April 17, 2008. The case was initially being heard by Judge B A Shaikh, but he has since been transferred.

The case was being heard by Judge Nitin Dalvi after that.

Advocate Pratul Shandilya, who was the Special Public Prosecutor in the case, said he had not yet received a copy of the full judgment. Once he received the copy, he would forward it to the Government of Madhya Pradesh to know whether it wanted to file an appeal against the judgment.

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