The Gujarat High Court seeks a response from the state government regarding the plea from Sanjiv Bhatt, an ex-IPS officer who is currently behind bars in connection with a 1996 narcotic case.
Earlier this month, the Palanpur court in Banskantha district had already rejected Sanjiv’s plea for bail after which he moved the High Court.
The single judge bench of the Gujarat High Court Justice SH Vora issued the notice to the state government seeking its response by January 8, 2019.
Initially, the plea of Sanjiv Bhatt to the High Court was to be heard by Justice AY Kogje who recused himself from the case, following which, it was listed before the bench of justice Vora.
The Gujarat CID had arrested Sanjiv Bhatt from his house at Ahmedabad on September 5, 2018, for his alleged connection in a 22-year-old narcotic case. The former policeman is accused of framing a Rajasthan based lawyer by planting drugs in his room in order to compel him to transfer a piece of property at Pali in Rajasthan.
Bhatt, who was the-then superintendent of the Banaskantha police arrested Sumersingh Rajpurohit, an advocate, in 1996 over charges of possessing drugs, claiming that drugs were found from a hotel room used by Rajpurohit.
It was alleged that 1.15 kg of opium was found in the room of Palanpur hotel where Sumersingh Rajpurohit was staying. However, later on, a probe by Rajasthan police claimed that Sumersingh was not guilty and was falsely implicated by the Banaskantha Police due to property dispute.
In pursuant to this revelation by Rajasthan police, Bhatt’s name was dragged along with seven others. In pursuant to this revelation by Rajasthan police, in 1999, IB Vyas, former police inspector of Banaskantha, approached Gujarat High Court seeking a thorough probe of the case.
Nonetheless, in June 2018, the High Court transferred the case to the CID, which claimed that Bhatt was the mastermind of this crime. Bhatt was sacked by the union ministry in 2015 on the grounds of ‘unauthorised absence’ from service.
Bhatt argued at the lower court that the probe of the case after 22 years was an abuse of law and he has already answered every question of the probing agency and sought bail saying that he would not run away from the investigation.
Bhatt always has been extremely vocal in criticizing BJP and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the recent past and over the years.