Guwahati, June 26: Gauhati High Court today discharged former Lok Sabha MP and BJP leader Sarbananda Sonowal in the Saurav Bora murder case.
A single-judge bench of Justice B.D. Agarwal set aside a lower court order for framing charges against Sonowal.
The court in today’s order said the CBI had rightly concluded (in its final report) that there was no material to proceed against Sonowal. It also ruled that general suspicion on the basis of hearsay evidence cannot justify framing of criminal charges.
Sonowal’s counsel Bijon Kumar Mahajan said the high court had quashed the order passed by the additional district and sessions court in Dibrugarh against his client and discharged him of all the charges.
Sonowal challenged the order passed by the Dibrugarh court on December 21, 2009, for framing of charges against him and four other accused under Sections 302 and 120 (B) IPC.
The other four accused in the case are Dibya Hash Goswami, Kosheswar Saikia, Ramesh Dutta and Mridul Dutta.
Besides Sonowal, Goswami also challenged the order of the Dibrugarh court in the high court.
The high court, however, today refused to interfere with the order passed by the trial court for framing charges against Goswami who will now have to face trial in the murder case.
Sonowal was the leader of All Assam Students’ Union and Goswami was the registrar of the Dibrugarh University at the time of the murder.
Saurav Bora, a student leader and social worker, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on the Dibrugarh University campus on May 25, 1986 and a case was registered in this connection at Dibrugarh police station. Bora was a resident of Dangdhora village under Titabor in Jorhat district.
The case was investigated by the Dibrugarh police as well as CID before it was handed over to the CBI on March 21, 1988.
After investigation, the CBI submitted the final report in the case in the court of special judicial magistrate, Assam, on June 26, 1990 seeking to close the case because of lack of evidence against the accused persons.
The court of special judicial magistrate, however, rejected the CBI’s final report after it found that there was enough evidence for trying the accused persons.
Subsequently, the trial of the accused persons began in the court of additional district and sessions judge in Dibrugarh, which passed an order on December 21, 2009, for framing charges against the five accused persons.