The Gujarat High Court has ordered to initiate legal proceedings against Swami Sachidanand in connection with an alleged murder. Sachidanand had allegedly shot dead Babubhai,a tribal,at his ashram at Dantali in Anand district on July 17,2006.
Justice Akil Kureshi passed an order to this effect while quashing an order of the concerned Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC). The court ordered proceedings under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act. A petition in this connection was filed by one Dhana Mohaniya a close relative of the deceased.
According to Mohaniya,Babu had gone to get some food from the ashram where followers of Sachidanand insulted him,which led to a scuffle. Soon after,Sachidanand came out with a revolver and shot Babu,who died a few days later in Ahmedabad.
Elsewhere,Sachidanand has stated that Babu had attempted a robbery at his ashram along with some of his accomplices. An FIR in this regard has already been registered and the police have submitted a chargesheet against the accused.
Mohaniya had lodged a complaint with Petlad JMFC after the police did not register any complaint against Sachidanand and his followers with reference to the incident.
He had accused them of murder and for violating the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Arms Act.
The JMFC had rejected his complaint by an order dated September 12,2007,while making strong observations against the complainant.
Mohaniya had challenged the order in the HC,which allowed the petition stating that the allegations in the complaint are triable by the Sessions Court.
The court remarked that all the magistrate had to do was to see if there is sufficient ground for proceedings against the accused instead of weighing the evidence meticulously as if he were the trial court.
Some of the documents were not exhibited during the proceedings before the magistrate. Pulling up the magistrate for this,the HC observed: The learned Magistrate could have taken steps to ensure that the documents are produced and properly exhibited. To throw the entire burden of proving the charge even at the stage where process was yet to be issued on the complainant who was an illiterate Adivasi,was too much to expect from him to fulfill.