Bhatt seeks relief from HC in 1990 atrocity case

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 17:42

Ahmedabad: Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv
Bhatt on Tuesday approached the Gujarat High Court once again,
seeking a relief in the 1990 alleged police atrocity case, in
which, one person had died and sought quashing of an order of
Jamnagar court refusing to defer framing of charges against
him.

Bhatt has also sought a stay on all court proceedings
against him, in relation to the two-decade old case as an
interim relief. The matter came up for hearing before Justice
JC Upadhyay, who deferred it till tomorrow.

On December 9, a fast track court of Judge NP Solanki
of the Jamkhambhalia taluka in Jamnagar rejected application
of Bhatt, seeking deferment on framing of charges against him.

Bhatt has contended that his criminal revision
application, filed earlier, was pending before the same court
and till it is not heard and disposed off, charges should not
be framed against him.

The court rejected Bhatt`s application and scheduled
the next hearing on December 27, when the charges are likely
to be framed against him and six other accused in the case.

Bhatt today challenged the legality and validity of
this order of the Jamnagar court and contented that the order
was illegal, erroneous and contrary to the documentary
evidences produced before the court.

He has further alleged in his petition that court did
not take into consideration his criminal revision application
and plea for condomnation of delay pending before the same
court.

Bhatt contended that once Jamnagar court goes ahead
with framing of charges against him and other accused, his
criminal revision application would become infructuous, which
violates his right under Article 20 and 21 of Constitution of
India.

Bhatt has further contended that death of one person
in the case was not homicidal, based on which, he has been
alleged of murder.

In September, Bhatt had approached the Gujarat High
Court, seeking relief in the two-decade-old police atrocity
case, by challenging the state government`s decision to
withdraw a plea, seeking revision of a Jamkhambhliya court`s
order, initiating criminal proceedings against him and six
others.

Bhatt`s petition was rejected by Justice RH Shukla of
the Gujarat High Court on October 10, which he had challenged
in the Supreme Court.

The Apex Court last month had refused to grant relief
to Bhatt in the case and declined to entertain the petition
seeking the reversal of a state government order, withdrawing
a revision petition in the case.

According to case details, one Prahbudas Vaishnani,
who was arrested during a communal flare-up in Jamkhambhalia
town in Jamnagar in 1990, died in a hospital few days after he
was released from police custody.

Following this, Vaishnani`s family members filed a
complaint against Bhatt and six others for police atrocity,
leading to death of a person.

The case was probed by the state CID, which gave Bhatt
and other cops a clean chit, but the magistrate, presiding
over the case did not accept CID report and initiated criminal
proceedings against Bhatt and others.

The Gujarat government then took the position that
Bhatt and others had acted in discharge of their official
responsibilities and filed a revision petition in the session
court in 1996 halting the criminal proceedings.

This revision petition was withdrawn by the state
government in July, thereby exposing Bhatt and others to
prosecution.

Bhatt, who is under suspension, had in April this year
alleged complicity of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in
the 2002 riots in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court.

The 1988-batch IPS officer is presently out on bail
after his arrest on September 30 in connection with an FIR
filed against him by a police constable for allegedly
threatening him, wrongfully confining him and making him sign
a false affidavit.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 17:42

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