Sanjiv Bhatt to spend another day in jail

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt will have to spend at least one more day in jail, as hearing on his bail plea has been adjourned till Wednesday.

Zeenews Bureau

Ahmedabad: Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt will have to spend at least one more day in jail, as hearing on his bail plea has been adjourned till Wednesday.

The Sessions Court here had earlier in the day reserved its order on Gujarat government`s remand revision application of Bhatt till October 7.

During the hearing today, Sessions Judge G N Patel proposed to Bhatt that if he went on remand for three hours and came back, it would readily grant him bail. However, Bhatt refused to take this proposal and said he cannot compromise with "touts".

"Whatever wrong the government wants to do, I don`t care, I will tolerate it," he told the court.

On October 1, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate BG Doshi had rejected the state government`s demand for seven-day police custody of Bhatt and remanded him in judicial custody.

However, the state government had yesterday challenged in the sessions court, the magisterial court order denying remand of Bhatt, arrested for allegedly threatening and forcing a constable to sign a false affidavit.

During the hearing Bhatt`s lawyer IH Sayed contended that the revision remand application of the state government was not maintainable in law. He cited Supreme Court judgement which said that granting or rejecting of bail was an interlocutory order and there cannot be revision of that order as per Section 397(2) of the CrPC.

Sayed said in view of the apex court judgement, the government application is not maintainable and should be rejected.

On the government side, public prosecutor Pravin Trivedi argued that the state government has right to seek revision of the remand once it is rejected.

After the order on police remand was reserved, Bhatt who was present in the court told the judge that he would like to assist it and remain present during pronouncement of the order. But he was told that his presence was not required. The judge also asked the jail authorities not to bring Bhatt on October 7.

Bhatt was arrested on September 30 on the basis of the FIR filed against him by police constable KD Pant for allegedly threatening him and forcing to sign a false affidavit with regard to a meeting called by Chief Minister Narendra Modi on February 27, 2002, hours after the Godhra train carnage.

The government had challenged the magistrate`s order on police remand and sought Bhatt`s custody on the grounds that it wanted to know how the IPS officer had used the affidavits signed by Pant.

The government contended that Bhatt`s custody was required to find out about others involved in the conspiracy, and also to ascertain whether the IPS officer had sent the affidavits to somebody using e-mails.

The government further said that it also wanted to know how many bank lockers did Bhatt have and what was inside them.

Bhatt has filed for bail in the sessions court, which will be heard later in the day.

Bhatt’s family and activists have termed his arrest as a case of vendetta and that he is being targeted for speaking against Modi.

The IPS officer’s wife has written a letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram stating that Bhatt apprehends danger to his life from a "vindictive administration".

However, KD Pant says that he is under no pressure and the complaint he has filed against Bhatt is what happened.

Bhatt has been booked under IPC Sections 341 (causing wrongful restraint), 342 (causing wrongful confinement), 195 (giving fabricated evidence) and 189 (threat of injury to public servant).

Bhatt was locked in a public confrontation with Modi after he filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing the Chief Minister of complicity in the 2002 riots.

Bhatt was also served a chargesheet by Gujarat Home Department in connection with his alleged unauthorised absence from duty.

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