IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt to challenge suspension

Senior IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt claimed that his suspension was prompted by his petition in the Supreme Court on the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Senior IPS officer
Sanjeev Bhatt on Tuesday said he would challenge his suspension
by the Gujarat government, claiming that the action was
prompted by his petition in the Supreme Court on the 2002
post-Godhra riots.

The Narendra Modi government however contested Bhatt`s
claim saying it was not the case and that the suspension was
prompted by his acts of indiscipline.

"This (suspension of Bhatt) was direct reaction to the
petition filed by Bhatt in the Supreme Court. I believe that
the actions was biased," Bhatt`s lawyer Iqbal Sayed told
media persons.

"We are weighing legal options and deciding on forums
where the suspension order could be challenged," he said.

According to Syed, they have two options -- either
going directly to the Supreme court or approaching the Central
Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

Bhatt, a 1988 batch IPS officer, who has been locked
in a public confrontation with the Gujarat government over
post-Godhra riots, was suspended late last night.

He was placed under suspension by the Home Department
in exercise of powers conferred by Rule 3(1) of All India
Services (Discipline and Appeals) Rules, 1969.

The specific reasons cited against Bhatt was
unauthorised absence from duty, non-appearance before a
departmental panel and alleged misuse of official vehicle.

State DGP Chitranjan Singh talking to newsmen in
Gandhinagar said the action against Bhatt was for
indiscipline as he has been absent from duty of posting as
principal of SRPF training unit, Junagadh, for over 10 months.

When asked to comment on Syed`s claim that the
suspension was result of Bhatt`s affidavit in the Apex Court,
Singh said that was not the case.

The disciplinary action was taken after preliminary
inquiry report by a senior ADGP level officer, he added.

Congress demanded shifting of all riot related cases
outside the state for proper action against the accused in the
wake of his petition before the Apex Court.


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