Mumbai : The Bombay High Court has undertaken a reshuffle of the judiciary with the result that as many as 131 district judges have been transferred to other courts. This will result in new judges hearing some key cases, including the Sheena Bora murder case, the Chhagan Bhujbal money laundering case and the one involving the 2006 Malegaon blast.
Special judge Hemant Mahajan, who was presiding over the Sheena Bora trial has been transferred to Aurangabad district. Justice Mahajan has already framed charges aga-inst all the accused in this case and was likely to start the trial beginning with the prosecution’s examination of witnesses. Justice Mahajan has till now turned down bail pleas of all the accused, including Peter Mukherjea, his wife Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna.
Another key case that would be now handled by a new judge is the 2006 Malegaon blast incident. Special judge V.V. Patil, who is hearing the case, has also been sent to a court in Aurangabad district. It was Justice Patil who acquitted nine Muslims in the case. The court is yet to frame charges against four arrested accused in this case.
The high-profile Chhagan Bhujbal case, in while the former deputy CM is accused of laundering Rs 800 crore, will be handed over to a new judge as Justice P.R. Bhavake has been sent to Ahmednagar.
Though charges are yet to be framed against Bhujbal, Justice Bhavake has twice rejected the bail plea of the former deputy CM.
Mangesh Patil, Registrar-General of Bombay High Court, told Free Press Journal, “The transfers are routine. New judges would be taking their place soon.”