No relief for Sanjiv Bhatt in police atrocity case

Gujarat High Court refused to stay proceedings against suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a 1990 police atrocity case.

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to stay proceedings against suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a 1990 police atrocity case and directed the
state government to file its reply on his condonation petition
by March 6.

The notice was issued by Justice Anant S Dave while
hearing the petition moved by Bhatt challenging a Jamnagar
district court`s order rejecting his plea for pardon for delay
in filing revision petition in the two-decade old case.

The court asked the state government to file their
reply on Bhatt`s petition by March 6 when the matter is
scheduled for next hearing.

As per the 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 brother Amrutlal filed
complaint against Bhatt and six others.

A district court of Jamnagar had last week rejected
Bhatt`s application for condonation of delay which paved the
way for framing of charges against him in the case.

Bhatt had filed the condonation of delay plea along
with a revision petition in July last after the state
government withdrew its review petition in the case.

Today, Bhatt approached the high court through his
lawyer IH Sayed seeking that the lower court order be set

Sayed, citing Supreme Court judgments contended that
Bhatt`s condonation application was maintainable and hence the
lower court order should be quashed.

The court however refused to stay the ongoing
proceedings against Bhatt in the Jamnagar court.

After the complaint was filed against Bhatt and six
others, the Gujarat government had taken the position that
Bhatt and others had acted with discharge of duty 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This revision petition was withdrawn by the state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 last thereby exposing Bhatt and others
to prosecution.

Meanwhile, in a related development the Jamnagar court
today adjourned the proceedings till March 5 after hearing
submissions on the discharge applications of six other accused
in the case.

Bhatt has not filed discharge application till date.