Setback for Sanjeev Bhatt in custodial death case

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant relief to the suspended Gujarat police officer Sanjeev Bhatt in a 21-year-old custodial death case.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a big setback to suspended Gujarat police officer Sanjeev Bhatt, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant relief to him in a 21-year-old Jamnagar custodial death case of 1990.

As per report, the apex court bench comprising justice P Sathasivam and justice BS Chauhan asked the suspended Gujarat police officer to withdraw his case and approach the lower court in this regard.

While expressing its shock over the inordinate delay in conducting trial relate to the case, the apex court said that it won’t interfere in the Gujarat government’s decision.

The two-judge bench had on Wednesday posted the matter for hearing today. When Bhatt`s petition came up for hearing before the bench during mentioning time (period earmarked to take up urgent matters), the petitioner`s counsel said the Gujarat High Court has extended the stay on framing of the charges till November 21.

It is alleged that when Bhatt was posted as the additional SP in Jamnagar, about 150 persons were detained to control communal riots in Jam Jodhpur town. One of those arrested, Prabhudas Vaishnani , had to be admitted to hospital after being released. He died there reportedly of renal failure.

The Supreme Court is also expected to hear today a petition filed by Bhatt seeking the transfer of the probe into an email hacking case against him to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

On Nov 11, an apex court bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam had issued a notice to Gujarat government after Bhatt`s counsel IM Syed told the court that it had already issued notice to the state government on a petition seeking transfer of the investigation following a first information report (FIR) against him by his official driver.

Additional Advocate General of the Gujarat government Tushar Mehta has filed an FIR against the Indian Police Service officer, accusing him of hacking his email account.

Bhatt said the email hacking complaint was filed by Mehta at the behest of Chief Minister Narendra Modi to falsely implicate, pressurise and intimidate him and other witnesses in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

A special court in Ahmedabad Oct 17 granted bail to the police officer who accused Modi of complicity in the communal riots.

Bhatt was arrested Sep 30 for allegedly forcing a police constable, KD Panth, to sign a false affidavit about his attending a meeting called by the chief minister soon after the Godhra train burning that sparked the riots.

With IANS Input

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