Ahmedabad: In a setback to the Gujarat government, suspended and arrested IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was on Monday granted bail by a sessions court here.
After being released from jail, Bhatt said the rule of law has prevailed.
Bhatt was arrested on September 30 for allegedly making a constable sign false affidavit in connection with Gujarat riots.
Sessions Judge VK Vyas, after hearing the arguments of special public prosecutor SV Raju and Bhatt`s advocate IH Syed, had reserved the order on bail on October 12.
During the hearing, Bhatt`s advocate Syed contended that his client`s arrest was politically motivated.
He argued that the arrest was also aimed at getting hold of and destroying the alleged evidence he had against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the 2002 communal riots.
Syed had further contended that the complaint, on which Bhatt was arrested, was false and was filed with an ulterior motive, at the behest of some political functionaries and senior police officers.
He had said that the complainant, constable KD Pant, who had alleged that Bhatt had threatened him and forced him to sign false affidavits, appeared to be acting as a ploy at the dictates of political members of the state government.
State government`s senior counsel Raju, while opposing Bhatt`s bail, contended that Bhatt did not deserve bail, as he was a habitual offender with criminal antecedents.
To support his claims, Raju highlighted other criminal cases against him in various courts, which included case of police torture in custody registered in 1994 in Porbandar, and a case under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act, which is pending against Bhatt in Pali, Rajasthan since 1996. Raju further said that prima facie, there was a case made out against Bhatt, which is punishable upto life imprisonment.
He also alleged that Bhatt had tried to evade the process of law by not cooperating with the investigation in the case against him and not remaining present before the investigation officer despite being summoned four times.
He further accused Bhatt of tampering with the evidence. Raju also alleged that Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadia was involved in the offence with Bhatt.
He said that Modhvadia had pressurised Pant by calling him up, when he was in the advocate`s office, who had prepared the affidavits, on which, Pant was allegedly made to sign.
Raju said that the hobnobbing of Bhatt with opposition party -- Congress clearly showed his intentions and based on this, Bhatt filed an affidavit with false contents in the Supreme Court with the purpose to arraign Narendra Modi in an offence under Section 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code.
In the court, Raju had also argued that Modi had nothing to do with the FIR against Bhatt and not at all connected with the case.